Fresh flowers and strawberries and pickles—oh my!

Zuko, a five month old border collie, enjoys the Mt. Lebanon Uptown Market with his owner Patty Greeno.

Patty Greeno, Inglewood Drive, and her five-month-old border collie Zuko made their way from table to table, gathering fresh zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant. For Zuko, it was a time to socialize and interact with people of all ages, while Greeno was able to purchase fresh food to cook up for dinner. 

Greeno has frequented the Uptown Market for several years. “I do look forward to it,” she said. The market opened for the 2021 season on May 8 to rave reviews from patrons (including yours truly!). The market will run every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon in the South Lot, and the second Saturday of each month will provide even more fun, with additional booths for crafters and music from Mt. Lebanon’s own Mackin Band. 

A typical Saturday at the Uptown Market includes 20 vendors—usually 14 returning and six new. For “Second Saturdays,” as it’s been dubbed, there will be roughly 30 vendors, with nine new artists and makers joining the market. You can learn more about the vendors by visiting the market’s Facebook page.

“We are looking forward to the 2021 market season! The market gives our community the opportunity to support local family farms, to learn about local agriculture and to get to know local farmers and food producers on a personal level,” said Carla Clipper, Uptown Market manager. 

On a typical Saturday, you can find “the freshest fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs and grains,” she added. And don’t forget to swing by the wide array of local shops and restaurants that help make our community great while you’re in Uptown.

You can also expect to find specialty items. For example, Jazmin Hernandez, Castle Shannon Boulevard, recently launched her business, Panaderia Jazmin, where she bakes traditional Mexican bread. Her family in Mexico owns a bakery, and Jazmin is learning to perfect her talents with her own business. 

Branda Garcia, Anawanda Avenue, translated for Jazmin, who spoke in Spanish, saying she was “very excited and proud” to be selling her delicacies at the Uptown Market. “Everyone is so kind in the community and she feels very lucky to be here.” 

“The Uptown Market is one of my favorite activities in Mt. Lebanon,” said Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron. “It is not just an opportunity to purchase locally produced foods, but as importantly, it’s a time to run into friends and neighbors. The Uptown Market grows the community, and that is why I look forward to it every year.”

The market has even become a destination for others. While I was there, I ran into several folks from out of town—from Delaware to Kentucky. 

Natalie Tyre, of Georgetown, Delaware, was visiting family in Monroeville. Her family, who once lived in Mt. Lebanon, like to stay at the SpringHill Suites in Mt. Lebanon when they’re visiting because they love the community so much. She stopped by the market to shop and enjoy soaking in the community once again. 

“I just miss this,” she said. 

A woman purchases pickles from another at the Mt. Lebanon Uptown Market on May 8.
Natalie Tyre, left, buys pickles from Diana Conover of Conover Organic Farm.

So, if you’re wondering what I bought: I left with some fresh tomatoes and strawberries from Simmons Farm, a variety pack from Panaderia Jazmin and a bottle of strawberry mango wine from La Vigneta Winery. For fun, I did a taste test of all of Jazmin’s pastries, and they didn’t disappoint. I’ll certainly be headed back to the market to shop on a weekly basis.

If you made it to the market on Saturday, or are planning a visit this week, share your favorite purchase in the comments—and, if you have a recipe that you made from the fresh foods, we’d like to see it so we can try it, too.
Did you know that Mt. Lebanon has two markets? The Mt. Lebanon Lions Farmers Market, which runs Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church parking lot, resumes June 2! Stay tuned for our story once the market opens!

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