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Le Roy Farmer's Market Remembers Dave Perkins

August 10, 2018 08:52 AM

(ABC 6 News) -- The town of Le Roy has been thriving, thanks in no small part to Dave Perkins. He’s credited with bringing affordable housing to Leroy, helping start the weekly farmers market, and was active in the art community.

Just weeks ago, we told you about a pair of new buses the city purchased for commuters. Perkins was one of the yes votes. He died unexpectedly Monday, stunning the community.

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Thursday was the first day that Leroy held it's farmers market without Perkins, but the community is not forgetting the man who started it all.

“Really, it's almost like a microcosm of a larger farmers market because you've got everything,” said Axel Gumbel, the current manager of the Leroy farmers market.

“Dave Perkins purchased the lot that we're standing on right now and he literally went around the community and said what can we do with this lot?” Gumbel said. “I'd say one of his biggest involvements was the farmers market. At the time it started it was four to six vendors, fairly small. Now, in season four we're up to 12 vendors, sometimes more.”

The market varies in produce, homemade goods, and even shrimp. “We keep them inside a shed, heated. It's always around 90 degrees and humid, we make our own salt water,” said Dani Terbeest of  Kedron Valley Farm in Fillmore County.

Mergene Gunderson also has a booth at the market called A-new! “I decided to make all natural products and I started out with soaps that's primarily what I’ve got here,” she said.

Gunderson’s sister, Ann Soltau, whose booth is right next door said, “I wanted to do some baking. I make pies, cookies, bars. This one is a Rice Krispy bar that has caramel, chocolate chip, and marshmallow center. Then another Rice Krispie bar on top.”

“The people are nice. We have return customers. It's very comfy and homey,” said vendor Kathy Lange.

“It's gotten so popular that we no longer quit in October like we used to. This will be our second season where we keep going year round,” Gumbel said. “Dave isn't here today. We knew that he would be crushed if we didn't continue this. That's why we keep on going and we choose to grieve by celebrating his life and legacy.”  

KAAL-TV

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