The Saturday Market kicked off Saturday morning in Havre’s Town Square.
The vendors’ wares were braced against the wind with everything from water bottles to towel racks, while patrons browsed a variety of products.
There were many returning faces among the vendors, as well as several new ones.
Produce supplier Sharp Neuwerth Produce was selling jewelry, soda and water while waiting for crops that will be ready in a couple of weeks.
Mikki Neuwerth said that she makes about 65 to 75 percent of the jewelry, and the remainder of what they sell is bought during their winter travels in Arizona.
“We try to find things that we know will appeal to the Hi-Line region, ” said Neuwerth.
Operators of Black Kettle Delights were very busy with their fresh fried doughnuts and the perennial favorite, deep fried Oreos.
Dave Anderson with Saddle Butte Custom Smoking was selling barbecued pigs on a pole, along with ready-to-take frozen meats in their booth.
“It’s good business today” said Anderson, who has been a vendor for 18 years.
Betty Holden, another returning vendor, said that “business is excellent today. ”
Holden was selling her baked goods that she started selling when her grandchildren were school-age.
“They would pledge $1,000 each to send to the missionaries, and we would bake goods to sell to meet that, ” said Holden. “After that, I just keep doing it. People stop me and ask if I’m going to be at the market again. I’ve made a name for myself. ”
Holden was also selling embroidered towels and Ron Holden’s woodwork.
Another returning vendor was Gail Pollington with her handmade “Scrubbies. ”
“I started these 14 years ago with a pattern I was taught, ” said Pollington. “I’ve adapted it some to use different materials and sizes to meet my customers’ needs. ”
For the third year, the Damory table was set up with custom-made cloth diapers and handmade laundry soap. David and Michelle Hernon started the booth after making their own diapers for 19 years for their own children. They added the laundry soap to their wares last year.
“We had it in gallon jugs last year, but decided to sell it in the pre-mixed form this year, ” said Michelle Hernon. “Customers will have to mix it with water themselves, but this keeps them from having to haul around a gallon jug while they shop. ”
Lucky Pony Jewelry, operated by Kathy Anderson, is in its second year at the market, displaying and selling unique handmade jewelry.
“Business today has been OK, ” Anderson said. “It’s usually slow the first couple of weekends, then it takes off. ”
Some returning vendors see the morning as a time to connect with the community, such as State Farm Insurance agent Anthony Cammon.
“For us it’s about getting out, seeing people and being a part of the community, ” said Cammon. “We have the prize wheel for people to spin and all sorts of stuff we give away. ”
Among the new first-time vendors is Douglas Holzhausen.
“I started making my bread from kamut for dietary reasons, and I realized that there are a lot of people in the area who have the same issues, ” said Holzhausen. His cinnamon raisin bread is made with Kamut grain, which is very different from the traditional white flour or wheat breads normally seen.
The newly named Handy-Crafters, Ethel Birdwell and Linda Malley, were selling a plethora of unique handmade crafts.
Starting with dish towels, baby blankets and jewelry, they expanded to knitted octopuses to hold hair ties and barrettes and roll-up travel chalkboard sets.
Bake, a new booth run by Jacy Crowley and Danielle Courtnage, is in its first year with homemade creative baked goods. Brownies in a jar, pies on a stick, scones, pies, pie-fries and much more are what can be expected from these women.
“We’re thinking of opening a bakery and wanted to test our products to see what people think of them, ” said Crowley.
Although it’s early in the growing season, Hilldale Colony was selling their produce, bread and rolls for the first time at the market. A colony representative said that, although it was slow this first week, they hoped it would pick up as the season continued.
While the patrons visited each booth and the vendors braced against the wind, the Brady family stopped long enough to share their thoughts.
“It’s great. It’s about everyone getting out and about together. ”