Chatting with a Vendor: Brian Elias


In the winter months, the ever-cheerful Brian Elias can be found selling sweet winter spinach and some of the biggest carrots we've seen at Green City Market, alongside Tomato Mountain's range of popular salsas, preserves, and other jarred products such as pasta sauce and bloody mary mix. In the summer months Tomato Mountain's table is known for a dazzling array of colorful tomato varieties, from Sun Golds to Purple Bumblebees, as well as a bright selection of organic vegetables, greens, and herbs. Here, Brian shares his favorites and tips for shopping the market.

What is your favorite crop/product that you grow/sell?

My favorite product(s) we grow would be our variety of greens. From cabbage to spinach, bok choy to chard, they are so versatile. I use them in soups, stew, wraps, stir-fry, steamed with eggs from breakfast.  

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?

My favorite thing to do in Chicago is to simply walk around and explore.  I can walk down Milwaukee or Chicago Ave, streets that I have been down millions of times, and find something I have never seen before. Maybe a new pop-up shop, maybe something that I have always seen but never really "seen."

What is in your fridge right now?

Right now my fridge is stocked with about three dozen eggs, chicken thighs, a variety of peppers, greens, blueberries, and dozens of different cooking sauces. 

What is one tip you have for shoppers at Green City Market?

The farmers market can be intimidating. Sometimes folks don't want to get in there and ask questions; maybe the feel shy for not knowing what something is, or perhaps feel as if they just don't know how it works. It is a much different shopping experience than the general retail everyone is used to. Get in there and ask, be adventurous! The vendors are eager to share their stories and products with you, don't feel intimidated!  Guaranteed you will learn something each time you visit.

What is the one food you couldn't live without?

Eggs. I eat them everyday, morning, noon & night.

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