By AARON WORMUS
Exclusive to Palms West Monthly
Posted Oct. 29, 2018
The West Palm Beach GreenMarket held on the waterfront is the event that anchors the entire season. It starts the first week of October and runs almost every Saturday through April 20.
The green market is not just a place you go to buy produce. This Saturday morning tradition is a full-on social experience and is mandatory for anyone who wants to enjoy the West Palm Beach life. Even Martha Stewart stopped by in 2016 to blog about it.
You can enjoy live music “By the Banyan” while sipping mimosas ($4 for one, $10 for bottomless) or find one of the many food spots to satisfy your cravings. Coffee is plentiful, as well as cider donuts, coconuts, European cheeses, hot sauces, rhubarb jelly, pickles, orchids, flowers, pottery, dog treats and so much more.
If you’re a dog lover, the green market is your weekly dog show. At the grand opening we brought Jackson, our 2-year-old Golden Retriever, and he had the time of his life catching up with his dog friends and basking in the attention of the dozens of little – and big – kids who lined up to pet him.
But the West Palm Beach GreenMarket is something different to everyone, so this week my mission was to talk to as many people as possible to find out what brings them out.
Stella and I hopped on our bikes and cycled down the 5-mile stretch of Flagler from our home in the south end to the West Palm Beach waterfront.
We soon bumped into Alan and Amy Murphy and their dog Bella, who was celebrating her 14th birthday. The Murphys own Pioneer Linens, which has been on Clematis Street for over 100 years.
“There are more pastry vendors this year,” said Alan. “I love having my choice of chocolate croissants in the morning.”
The green market was busy, but it wasn’t nearly as packed as opening day. We walked through the south side of the market where the mature shade trees formed a shady canopy and the cooler breeze offered a bit of relief from the sun.
Next, we found Ellen Mudrick and her amazing pickles. “This is my 10th anniversary at the Green Market,” exclaimed Ellen, also known as the Pickle Lady.
We decided on a pint of her delicious “sweet with a bit of heat” pickles ($6).
“I left corporate America and said ‘You know what? Maybe I’ll start making my pickles,’” Ellen said as she rang us up. “Now, this is my corporate headquarters, under a tent. We’re in paradise!”
We continued our way through the green market, stopping to chat with Maxx and Martina who were raving about the pumpkin spice latte they picked up at Pumphouse Coffee Roasters. As good as that sounded, we had just stopped by the Havana tent and I was sipping on a strong Cuban colada. What I really needed was one of those chocolate croissants Alan had mentioned.
We found what we were looking for at Aioli, one of the 14 new vendors at this season’s green market. Michael and Melanie Hackman started the hugely popular bakery and restaurant on South Dixie Highway in 2014, and recently expanded to downtown.
While Melanie was grabbing the chocolate brioche I had settled on she had a few seconds to chat. “We’ve been on the wait list for the last three years,” she said. “We’re excited to finally be here, and it’s going great.” The brioche ($2) was fantastic.
Before leaving, we bumped into entrepreneur and world traveller Nick Mohnacky. “One of the things I love so much about the downtown waterfront is the landscaping and the tropical elements that make it so inviting,” he said.
We paused for a second as a group of excited dogs greeted each other, which began a chain reaction of nearby canines.
“I grew up in Hawaii so it feels like home,” Nick continued. “There’s great diversity in the vendors and I enjoy coming here and getting my fruits and vegetables.”
After strolling around a bit longer, we picked up a bag of sunflowers ($5) and put them in the basket on Stella’s bike and started the 30-minute bike ride back home.