The Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market drew a sizeable crowd May 12 in its debut at a new home next to City Springs.

The new City Hall at City Springs rises above the Strive Foods smoothie booth at the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market May 12 in its new location on Mount Vernon Highway. (Phil Mosier)

It was a homecoming of sorts for the Sandy Springs institution, which began in 2010 on the City Springs site – at the time, a parking lot outside an old Target store. Since then, it has been taken over by the cultural organization Heritage Sandy Springs and has relocated a few times. For the past few years and the beginning of this season, it had operated in an office park on Lake Forrest Drive.

Sandy Springs resident Andrea Ragin and her granddaughters Nora and Brook Philabaum, ages 5 and 7, buy boiled peanuts from Ricky “Farmer” Brown, owner of Back River Farm in Loganville. (Phil Mosier)

Attendance was reportedly declining at the previous location and appeared to be bigger in the new, more visible home—a closed-off section of Mount Vernon Highway between Roswell and Blue Stone roads, adjacent to the new City Green park, which is the heart of the City Springs civic center.

City Springs Executive Chef Rodney Martin demonstrates how to make a specialty grilled cheese sandwich from ingredients he purchased at the farmers market. (Phil Mosier)

The debut had its challenges, including figuring out availability of electrical connections from the street posts and, unlike the previous location, a lack of shade trees on a hot, sunny morning. Carol Thompson, Heritage’s executive director, said that despite such start-up issues, the market was “very busy” and “made for a good day for our farmers and other vendors.”

The new Aston City Springs apartments rise along Mount Vernon Highway, the new home of the Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market. (Phil Mosier)

“We hope the community will continue to come out to support the market while enjoying the beautiful new City Green and fountains right next door,” she said.

The market also served as the public debut of City Springs Executive Chef Rodney Martin. He will oversee all catering and event menus at City Springs’ major public spaces with food service, including the Conference Center, theaters in the Performing Arts Center and a bar and restaurant called CityBar. Most of those facilities will open later this year.

From left, Alexandra Jimenez of Alta Cucina Italia displays her range of olive oils while City Springs Executive Chef Rodney Martin shops with the assistance of City Springs Food and Beverage Director Andrew Borges. (Phil Mosier)

Martin roamed the market, shopping for food, then held a cooking demonstration for the crowd, combined with a pitch to rent event spaces at the civic center. Assisted by Andrew Borges, City Springs’ food and beverage director, Martin whipped up “artisan grilled cheese sandwiches.” Among the ingredients were cheese from Sandy Springs’ CalyRoad Creamery and olive oil from Alta Cucina Italia.

The farmers market runs Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon, through November at 220 Mount Vernon Highway. For more information about the market, see sandyspringsfarmersmarket.com. For more about City Springs, see citysprings.com.

–Phil Mosier contributed

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