Farmer Veterans Justin and Tara Brant held the grand opening of Black Swamp Artisanal Market Sept. 24 in downtown Dover, in a 1,200-square-foot store that had been vacant for several years.
Tara, a registered nurse, is a US Army veteran, while Justin serves in the US Navy but plans to farm full-time soon.
Farmers themselves, the Brants are leading a team of more than 25 vendors offering farm-fresh meats, eggs, butter, cheese, yogurt, vegetables, herbs, spices, flowers, honey and baked goods along with handcrafted soaps, lotions, oils, jewelry and furniture. Art and local photographs are also on sale. “The response has been wonderful,” said Tara. “We’ve received great feedback and lots of positive comments. It’s been awesome.”
The Black Swamp Artisanal Market is named after the Brants’ farm where they raise pigs and chickens near Felton, and they named their farm after the road it’s on. “Artisanal” means made in a traditional or non-mechanized way, not from a factory. The products are grown or raised locally — homemade, handcrafted.
The Brants, members of the Farmers-Veterans Coalition, display products on custom wood furniture made by Fortitude Furnishings, owned by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran in Georgetown, and that furniture is also for sale.
Amy Spampinato of Dover, who was shopping Thursday with her family, said the market “makes my life easier.”
“I always thought something like this would be a good idea with all the farmers in the area. Before, I would drive all over to buy at the different farms, but now it’s all curated in one spot,” she said.
She also likes the look of the store. “Ambience and décor matter. This is a beautiful place to shop,” Spampinato said. Hours are Thursday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours Friday until 8 p.m. Farmer Veterans. (continue reading)