For the second year, the Blairstown Farmers’ Market on August 18 welcomed the TREP$ Marketplace, a summer enrichment program that helps middle schoolers create and launch their own local businesses.

Under the guidance of Sandy Roberts, Kaleidoscope Enrichment, the young entrepreneurs dedicated hours of time this summer going to classes, developing marketing and making their products by hand. These businesses launched at the market: Macaron Magic by Kayleigh Steckel; Made in the U.S. by Ryan Thompson; Happy Cow Gluten Free Lip Care by Kelly Barta; Bedazzled Butterfly by Grace Barta; Tanner’s Toys by Tanner Barta; Island Bracelets by Emily Pilny; Outback Feeders by Michael Naomi; Pilny Style Pierogi by Richie and Maggie Pilny; Slimy Things by Gianna Dac’unto; Audrey’s Water-ific Stand by Audrey Banner; and Artsy Girls by Emma Corbo and Gwen Kosciolek.

“These young people truly are the future of business, and I am incredibly proud to have been part of their journey,” Roberts said. “Thank you to all the parents who made sure their students got to classes, had the materials they needed, helped them make products and supported them with love, understanding, and enthusiasm. You are a huge part of your child’s success.”

The Warren County Library System sponsored the program; Kelly Durkin and Catherine Dickson Hofman Library staff really believed in these kids and gave them the resources they needed to realize their success.

The Blairstown Farmers’ Market and Foodshed Alliance was pleased to provide space at the market for the TREP$ Marketplace event. “We welcome these talented students to our community of extraordinary entrepreneurs — our local farmers, artisans, and crafters — to give these young people a taste of what it is to be a part of a group that supports one another for the benefit of all,” said Kendrya Close, executive director of the Foodshed Alliance.

A special treat: Pamela deWaal, one of the co-creators of the national TREP$ program, visited the market to see the TREP$ kids launch their businesses. “She really liked the fact it was held as part of the farmers’ market,” Roberts said.

We sincerely appreciate everyone who shopped at the TREP$ Marketplace. We are working to schedule another date to have them back one Saturday this season.