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5 Can't-Miss Vendors at the SoWa Open Market

Posted by Alex Pearlman  October 10, 2011 06:07 PM

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sowaopenmarket.jpgBy Angela Stefano

Since yesterday’s weather felt more like a gorgeous summer day than Columbus Day weekend, I decided it was the perfect time to wander over to the South End and check out what I’d been missing at the SoWa Open Market, which runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sundays from May through October. Rows of artisans selling everything from jewelry to coasters to pillows to bags from under white pop-up tents lined the courtyard at 460 Harrison Ave., surrounded by some of Boston’s best food trucks. Local farmers, bakers, and pasta-makers set up shop in the parking lot below, and the brick building’s permanent shops left their doors wide open to invite patrons in.

If you haven’t made it to SoWa yet, I have five words for you: What are you waiting for?! You’ve already missed the Saturday Greenway Open Market, and SoWa is only open for three more weeks before heading into hibernation for the winter -- although they will hold a Holiday Market on Dec. 10 and a “Cabin Fever Indie Gift Show” on Feb. 12, and the farmers’ market will move indoors beginning Nov. 13. Here are five of my favorite vendors.

Latifi Designs. Bright, bold, exotic, funky, and chunky -- that’s the name of the game for Katie Finn, the artist behind Latifi Designs. If you’re looking to make a statement, hers is the tent to find. Her business card advertises parties and classes as well.

Pestos With Panache. Try one of Lauren Stewart’s pestos -- I recommend the Fabulous Fig & Gorgonzola or, if you want something a little sweeter, the Bangin’ Blueberry -- and you’ll never think of it as just “that green stuff Italian restaurants use” again. “We are witnessing the liberating of pesto -- freeing it from its traditional role as simply a sauce for pasta,” Stewart writes on the company’s website, where she advocates baking it into brownies, topping that dull dining hall burger with it, or using it as a substitute for salsa. You may not actually be culinarily inclined, but these spreads will make everyone think you are.

Tracimoc. You’re never too old for comic books, especially when you can accessorize with them. Elizabeth Lirakis uses their colorful pages to create jewelry and accessories that will brighten up any comic nerd’s wardrobe. She even had a booth at this year’s Boston Comic Con.

Black Sheep Designs. Librarian by day and artist by night, Pamela Laurenzo’s old-school-looking jewelry is a family affair: She creates the pieces using vintage beads and artifacts, and her husband, Jay, crafts the wire she uses, according to her website. Her necklaces made from Disabled American Veterans keychain tags -- they look like little license plates! -- caught my eye, but her T token accessories really kept me interested. Simple yet beautiful, Laurenzo’s designs are perfect for history buffs and vintage fans.

Did I Mention the Food Trucks? If you’re not in the market for fresh veggies or a new piece of jewelry, SoWa is still the place to nosh your heart out. Whether you arrive in time for breakfast, lunch, or just a mid-afternoon snack, you’re sure to find something -- or, more accurately, many things -- to satisfy your stomach. Since it was too warm for coffee, I started my morning off with a tripleberry smoothie from The Froyo Truck and grabbed a Kickass Cupcake on my way out (hello, sugar rush!). But while winding my way past Roxy’s, Bon Me, and Clover, among others, it took all the willpower in me not to line up and order one of everything.

Who would you recommend at the SoWa Open Market?

About Angela -- It's "Ang," if you please -- or, alternately, Bill, Penny Lane, or (begrudgingly) Angus to some. I've been with TNGG since the site started and am now the TNGG Boston editor for I graduated from Boston University's College of Communication in 2009 and am a huge fan of live music, hockey, and Thai food. I'm also a bit of a klutz, but that's only because my mind and body are always going in approximately a zillion separate directions. Twitter: @amstefano988

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