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April 4, 2008

Warmer weather brings food and farm products to Williamsburg Farmers Market on April 12

On Saturday, April 12, Williamsburg’s Farmers Market welcomes spring with fresh produce, baked goods and other specialty items from 8:30 a.m.-noon in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square.

April 12 is the first of a two-day chocolate-making event with a demonstration from Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Foodways journeyman Jim Gay. He can be seen in Merchants Square from 10 a.m.-noon at the Chef's Tent and 2-4 p.m. at the Craft House. The demonstration on Sunday, April 13 will take place from 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. in Colonial Williamsburg’s Prentis Store on Duke of Gloucester Street.

Gay re-creates the chocolate-making process of colonial kitchens by roasting cocoa beans, shelling them and crushing them in a large mixing bowl. Using a heated grinding stone and an iron rolling pin, the beans are ground into a liquid and mixed with sugar and spices.

During the demonstrations, attendees can enjoy samples of American Heritage Chocolate, a line of 18th-century chocolate products sold in Colonial Williamsburg’s retail stores. The American Heritage line stays true to 18th-century chocolate recipes because it is flavored with spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

American Heritage Chocolates have been developed in a partnership with the historic division of Mars Inc. of McLean, Va., Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Foodways staff, and members of the Colonial Chocolate Society. The society, formed in 2004 by Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Mars, has as its mission to foster research and interest in historic chocolate making and production.

The farmers market begins its regular season on Saturday, May 3 and continues each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon through Oct. 25.

The Williamsburg Farmers Market was established for growers and producers of Eastern Virginia to sell fresh seasonal food and farm products directly to the residents and guests in the Greater Williamsburg area.

Parking is available at the Prince George Street garage for $1 an hour. The Francis Street parking lot will continue to be free on Saturdays until noon. All other lots are posted as one-hour or two-hour parking.

The founding sponsors of the Williamsburg Farmers Market are The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Merchants Square Association and the City of Williamsburg. Additional sponsors for 2008 are: the Riverside Hospital System with marketing support; Towne Bank, sponsors of the Chef’s Tent; and Ukrop’s Super Markets, which supports musical entertainment.

For a complete list of vendors and events, visit or contact Libbey Oliver at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121