West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

To the Tosa Farmers Market - Jiggety Jig!

Community, Tosa Business, Tosa Landmarks, Tosans, Neighborhood

Finally, the stars and our schedule aligned and were able to make our first visit to the brand spankin’ new Tosa Farmers’ Market. Located in the Hart's Mills parking lot (along the Oak Leaf Trail across the river from Chancery and Cafe Hollander in the Village of Wauwatosa), the Market is open Saturday mornings June through October.


We arrived at around 9:00 am and already, the market was bustling. Although we could have walked, we drove there, anticipating a few heavy or perishable purchases. Parking was easy in the lot behind The Little Red Store. They even had parking attendants/crossing guards which made me feel less uneasy about the train tracks running right through the area.


The Little Red Store made an adorable backdrop to the market. We stopped in the Store to view the gallery of wonderful Plein Air paintings created throughout Wauwatosa over the past week by 70 local and regional artists. Such a delight to see familiar Tosa landmarks lovingly captured on canvas.



Alas, it was time to leave the cool Little Red Store and venture into the actual market. I have to confess, I’m not a Farmers’ Market regular – perhaps because I’m not much of a cook. But honestly, even if you rarely step foot in your kitchen, there’s something there for you.



The vendors come from all over Wisconsin and sell a fascinating variety of produce, prepared food and goods. It was breakfast time so we stopped by Frank’s Gourmet Chips to try their offerings – yum! Just a few tents over, Maxie’s had a new twist on breakfast with seasonal pancakes, while The Creperie had a line of customers just waiting for the homemade crepes.



Just to add to the ambience, there was the band Goat Noise playing some mellow but classic rock – a nice touch.



How do you describe the produce? So beautiful, it didn’t look real. I saw the largest zucchinis I had ever seen and we left with some amazing tomatoes and corn. (Yes, we are the only people in Tosa without a tomato plant.)


Wisconsin Soup Company had a HUGE variety of ready-made frozen soup which were too good to pass by – we left with a couple of containers.


One of the more talked-about vendors is Cocina DeLeon and their mouth-watering enchiladas. Linda Mulholland (on the right in this photo) founded this Brookfield business based on her mom’s recipes from Monterrey Mexico. You can choose from traditional flavors such as chicken or beef or something more exotic such as the popular “Manchiladas” filled with grilled rib-eye, bleu cheese and onions. It’s an easy and impressive way to feed a crowd or a family.



Then there are the flowers – GORGEOUS flowers. We wanted to get a small bouquet of zinnias for a family friend. I almost fell over when the vendor told me that my total was $2!!! I almost felt guilty but was thrilled, nonetheless.


Since the weather was already blazing hot, our visit to the farmers market was short, but we’ll definitely be back and may even make it a Saturday habit. It’s been a long time in coming, but I have no doubt that the Tosa Farmers Market is here to stay. If you haven’t been, what are you waiting for? It’s the place to be on Saturday morning!


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