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BIG NEWS… little chics

Let me start at the beginning… the very beginning… way back when I was just a girl slinging some soup at the farmer’s market. When my customers would inquire “When is that soup chick coming around?”… so I adopted the name, minus the “k” because I ran out of room on my chalk board that day. At the time I was just trying to support myself and my 4yr old daughter (she’s 14 now!) by doing something that I loved. Being my own boss sounded appealing and I thought there was a serious shortage of good soup in the area. Fast forward to an amazing partnership with a woman who taught me so so much (The Lady in The Kitchen… for those who know), a cafe, a pregnancy, a new business partner (whom you know and love…hey Meg!), another pregnancy and a whole lot of lessons learned later…. Chic Chic was born. The culmination of all my trial and error, unrelenting passion for local food, and strive for accessibility.

Chic Chic Marketplace was originally going to be a website and delivery service. Expanding on a delivery route we already had established by offering local goods in addition to our home-made foods. How convenient we thought, it’s like the farmer’s market comes to you! We are so very smart! NEPA, as it turns out, likes to see what they are buying in person. Everyone just kept showing up… to our kitchen… where there was no market… just a kitchen. So we relented, and started to look for a brick and mortar.



We moved into our current location in November of 2016 and things have been running, fairly, smoothly since. This past November, right around the 1yr anniversary of our new digs, a family walked into our store. John Basalyga, his partner Marissa, and their adorable sleeping daughter, who was nestled in Marissa’s arms, had come to check out Chic Chic. John, as I would learn, owns The Marketplace at Steamtown and has some big ideas. I too, have some big ideas, I like big ideas. While on our website they saw we worked with numerous area vendors and farms, and wondered about a possible collaboration. John had a vision for a Reading Terminal style market right in the heart of Steamtown. Restaurant stalls, farm booths, fresh baked goods, and local specialties all in one central bustling marketplace. This is something I have long thought was missing from our area… a hub! I like to think my little Forty Fort market does a good job of offering access to some amazing local products, but this, this was a whole other level. I. WAS. IN.

So… what does this all mean? It means Chic Chic and The Marketplace at Steamtown have teamed up to bring you….. drum roll please….. Scranton Public Market! A completely renovated market space, where the former food court sat, hosting many of your favorite local vendors. You may have already heard this name as we sort of “hit the ground running” as they say. It was November and we needed to get everyone’s attention fast. The space was complete and ready to go, but with the holidays here it was going to be tough attracting the attention of vendors during thier (and my!) busiest time of the year. So, I opened my big mouth and suggested hosting a pop-up market… you know… with only a few weeks notice and while everyone is running out of time and product. Great idea! Our “Trim the Table” holiday market was a success attracting area vendors and customers alike despite our short timeline. It was just the momentum we needed to get the ball rolling…. and rolling it is.

In addition to molding the market into shape, we are also a vendor….. dun dun dun!!! The Soup Chic will be slinging soup once again… get excited Scranton! Our little soup stand should be up and operational by March-ish if all goes well. We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of something that’s doing so much to support our local vendors. As a “mom & pop” shop, producer or small farm in the area we all share some of the same obstacles in expanding. Limited time, money, and resources… alone we can only do so much. If you had come to me six months ago and asked if I would consider expanding I would have laughed in your face (I’m a jerk like that). No way could I swing that! But being part of a market community means pooling some of those resources. A small kiosk storefront offers us the opportunity for a retail space without the usual hefty price tag and scary on-your-own location. Being a part of a diverse multi-use building in the heart of Scranton opens us up to traffic far beyond our customer base, especially in a new town where we may not be soup legends… yet 😉

But possibly, no definitely, the most exciting aspect of this whole endeavor is the community it will create. I have longed for a way to connect the players in the local food movement on a scale much larger than I am capable of on my own. Through enhanced communication and contact we can all support each other, strengthening the industry as a whole. Restaurants will have direct access to farms, vendors can share resources and knowledge, community education and events will benefit us all. Informed consumers make better choices… better for our health, better for our community, better for our environment. We all vote with our dollars, and those votes speak volumes. You get a better selection of superior quality products, we get more customers and support… it’s a win win!

In addition to all this community amazingness… an incubator kitchen is being built! Available to market vendors and budding entrepreneurs alike, this will allow commercial kitchen access without all the extra expense. All you amazing home bakers can come out of hiding now and make me pie… preferable lemon meringue 🙂 But that’s not all! Down the road, once the commercial kitchen is up and running, plans for a demonstration kitchen are in the works. An open kitchen with seating for cooking classes, product demos, pop-up restaurants… you name it! Soup Chic cooking classes anyone?!?!??! This interactive learning space, this public venue, this hub of all things local is what this area needs and what I have longed for. Get excited people!

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who studied the relationship between people and food, famously said “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”. This has always stuck with me. Even in an increasingly worldly society we still take pride in our regional dishes (don’t tell me you’ve never bragged about NEPA pizza) and our personal culinary traditions. But it’s where we source our raw ingredients that we’ve seemed to have lost our way. With the advent of the one-stop-shop ubermarket it’s hard to think past the convenience. What fruits and vegetables are regional? seasonal? sustainable? Add these questions to the ever dodgy list of good-and-bad-for-yous and it’s no wonder most us just shut down and become reliant on what the packaging tells us. The problem is, the packaging has an agenda and it’s not always your best interest. I’d rather take advice from my farmer, someone with a vested interest in the health of my local economy and land.

How do we bridge the gap between consumers and soil? This my friend, this market, is the answer. Convenience… check, knowledge strait from the source… check, education on how to eat seasonally and stretch that $15 organic steak to feed a family of five… check. Restaurants to buy prepared food that’s been sourced locally if cooking is not your thing… check! I don’t mean to say that this is going to be some unflawed food utopia, nothing’s perfect, but it has potential. Potential to connect us back to the land, to a time when a basic knowledge of how, when and why our food came to be was a wisdom afforded to everyone. Where the consequences, negative or positive, of our monetary “vote” can be seen and understood first hand. The potential to create an institution of resources for generations to come, to ensure we do not forget again the importance of this understanding. For without our involvement, attention and concern, we might realize the error of our ways too late. When the soil is too far gone, when our bodies are too tired and our towns too desolate. “But Jess…”, you’re saying, “it’s just a market where I’m going to grab some salsa, a loaf of bread and maybe some lunch, aren’t you overselling it a little?”. My friends, it is so much more than that, if you’ll let it be.


The Soup Chic



The Scranton Public Market (or SPM) is open every Friday & Saturday 12pm-6pm, and Saturday 12pm-4pm. Current vendors include Center City Wine Cellar, Bacsilico’s Cafe Basil & Italian Market, Household 6 Creations, Sugarloaf Herb Farm, Pittston Popcorn, and Betá Bread Bakery. We are still a work in progress but will continue to host events and keep you all posted with updates along the way. I can promise you lots of exciting things and area firsts are still to come!


Are you an area farm? Do you bake amazing pies? A restaurant looking for a second location? Email me (Jess!) at jess@chicchicmarket.com and tell me all about yourself 🙂



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Come on-a my house my house, I’m gonna give you Mediterranean Tapas, and Roman Chicken, and Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese

We have revamped our Trays Menu! New options, adjusted pricing, and more pickup options! We are always looking for ways to better meet your needs for convenient, affordable, unique, scratch-made food. Not familiar with what our Trays Menu has to offer… or how it all works? Well follow me!

Whether you are planning to feed a crowd or just your family, our “Grab-N-Go” trays can be a valuable tool. Designed to give you the most bang for you buck while providing you with everything from an impressive party spread to a month’s worth of quick affordable meals. We strive to fill the gap between expensive full-service catering and the same-old lack luster grocery store options. Our food is always made to order, the old fashioned way, with lots of care. And, since everything is made in-house and from scratch we are able to accommodate special dietary needs and custom requests that others cannot.

If your planning a large event such as a wedding, graduation or family reunion, we can help you with a menu that gives you the most value for your dollar. Our menu provides estimated servings per tray, but these numbers can become inaccurate when it comes to larger events. We will work with you to accommodate your guests without the risk of running short or being left with excess and waste. We have 10 years experience in the business, and we consider ourselves a pretty accurate guesstimater 🙂

While the possibilities are near endless, here is a quick little menu to illustrate. This is a real life wedding we put together with a client from last fall. The guest list was 110 and we were able to put a pretty amazing menu together, appetizers and all, for $11.54 a person. Eleven dollars and fifty four cents a person!!! That’s right.

Hummus & Olive Bar Platter- Our classic scratch made hummus served with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and a medley of olives.
Gourmet Cheese Tray- Aged cheddar served with crisp grapes, Creamy wedge of Bleu Cheese topped with local honey and candied walnuts, and Decadent Brie topped with raspberry preserves.
Crudité Platter– Fresh veggies with a creamy herbed dip.
Chicken Piccata w/ Fresh Lemon
Greek Style Meatballs w/ Tzatziki Sauce
Mediterranean Baked Orzo– Roasted eggplant and zucchini tossed with fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic and chopped tomatoes.
Roasted Red Potatoes w/ Butter and Fresh Rosemary
Roman Green Beans in Tomato Garlic Oil
Baby Spinach Salad w/ Fresh Pear and Shaved Parmesan in a Cider & Sage vinaigrette

Now that is how you please your guests and your client’s bank account… and they both were 🙂

Say your not the entertaining type, let’s talk about how this menu might apply to you. We would all love to buy ourselves a little time right? Last I checked more hours in the day were not up for sale, however, convenience is. Whether you are looking to avoid the kitchen just a few days a week, trying to save money on constantly eating out, or stocking your freezer with easy healthy meals as to avoid temptation… we can help! Many of our dishes can be easily portioned and frozen making them perfect for meal planning! With budget friendly options coming in at as little as $3 per meal! We will happily work with you to meet any budget 🙂

Here is an example I’ve shared before from a customer who was looking for an easy way to feed a vegetarian member of their family. The rest of the family ate meat, and as I’m sure many of us can relate to, playing short order cook is a no fun game. When it comes to pleasing fussy kids, catering to a special diet or caring for an elderly family member we could all use an easy solution. Here is what I suggested for her:

Total: $225.00 for approx. 54 meals at $4.16 per meal
1/2 Tray Mediterranean Orzo
1/2 Tray Tofu Stir Fry
1/2 Tray Messie Jessies
1/2 Tray Smoked Gouda Mac *sans bacon
1/2 Tray Roasted Broccoli


“The orzo bake is a complete meal in itself as is the stir fry, but you could also serve that over rice or noodles to stretch it. The Messie Jessies are great on a bun, in a wrap or over rice for a sort of “chili and rice” style dish. I would pair the mac and roasted broccoli for a bit of balance, although the mac is very substantial all on it’s own.”

I hope I gave you some insight and ideas as how you can best take advantage of our Grab-N-Go menu. If the whole idea still seems a bit overwhelming… I invite you to stick your proverbial big toe in by checking out our weekly featured tray. With no minimum to buy we pull a favorite tray from the menu and feature it weekly. Orders are due on Wednesdays at 1pm for Friday pickup (3-6). Perfect for weekend guests, a dinner party, potluck, or just because!

We would love to talk about all the possibilities with you, yes all of them! Shoot us an email at order@thesoupchic.com with your ideas and goals. We look foreword to it 🙂

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Help Wanted!

Hello out there…

Things have been wonderfully busy in Chic Chic land as of late. This holiday season was perfectly hectic, and now that we are back from our little break, it’s time to make the magic happen again… with a little help. We are hiring!

Adding to our misfit crew is a rather ominous task for us. Sure, we’ve had help over the years from our friends and family, but we are looking to take the plunge into something more permanent. We are looking to invest a little time into the right soul or souls. If you love food, colorful language, and GEM 104… this might just be the opportunity for you! 

As you know, we are a small and rapidly growing operation. We are in need of a few brave souls who can help support us in this expansion. This means taking on any task the day calls for and a good deal of hard work. From chopping onions, to dirty dishes and running deliveries… we need someone willing and able to take on the work. Above all, we need you to be motivated and able to take initiative on your own! Guidance will of course be given but we are currently short handed and quite bogged down with the daily grind of the business ourselves, so initiative is key! If you are used to a very guided and structured work environment… then this job is probably not for you! If you’re a problem solver, a scrappy worker and can take a bad joke… then you’re just the sort we’re looking for!

Front of House Position Duties: 

  • register (this is currently a mess as we are still trying to find a POS that works for us… you will need to be adaptable as we work through these “technical difficulties”, a theme that will surely be repeated)
  • inventory
  • social media content
  • website updates (nothing crazy)
  • cleaning
  • jump to “back of house duties” when needed

Back of House Duties:

  • dish washing
  • cleaning
  • food prep
  • light cooking, those with potential will be trained over time
  • garbage removal
  • organizing 
  • delivery/errand running 

Positions are part time with the possibility of a full time position in the not so distant future. Pay will be based on experience and skill level, however, work ethic and desire count more than skill here and hard work will always be rewarded.

To apply, please email jess@chicchicmarket.com with the following:

  • your contact information
  • your availability
  • a work history or resume
  • 3 references and thier contact information

Thanks again to everyone for your continued support. If you think you know the one we are looking for… send them our way!


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Ask Jess: “Last Minute Gift Ideas”… let’s do this

Hey fellow procrastinators, mean-wellers and overthinkers. It’s getting to that time of year again… I mean you still have loads, just oodles of time left though…. when you might be starting to feel the familiar sting of panic creeping in. The time to act is now. Let’s get this over with shall we? We shall!

I will make this easy. What does everyone, every single living person on your gift list want and need? To eat, to breath, to sleep? Well, sleeping and breathing are pretty much free…for now… so eating it is! The answer to all your problems is so simple you see, feed the people and they will love it! Grandma loves it! Junior loves it! Sissy McSisterpants loves it! Doggie Watcherneighborguy loves it! Whuts Hisface… he’s really into it. You can’t lose.

Now let me tell you how to get this thing done. Ready? Click here ———-> BAM <———– ha! Yeah it’s that simple! Or… or.. or… or, wait, you can also stop on by the shop (conveniently located at 970 Wyoming Ave. in Forty Fort) and grab some adorable pre wrapped gifts all under $25… I know!

We have jelly duos from Annie’s Country Kitchen featuring Red and Green Jalapeno Jelly…. ummm hello hostess gift! only 10$ !!! Looking for something a little sweeter? Try our “You’re A Peach” duet with Peach Cobbler Shortcuts and Peach Crush jelly. The possibilities go on… and we can whip one up custom on the spot… just for you! Heck we will do just about anything you ask us to… and we’ll deliver em too… if you ask real sweet like 😉

Want to talk stocking stuffers… we can talk stuffers! So many great gift ideas all under $10! We have bags of organic loose tea from House of Nutrition… really fancy pants stuff… starting at $1.75! Gourmet Popcorn from Pittston Popcorn …. caramel, kettle corn, candy apple, jalapeno cheddar, bacon cheddar… I could go on! … and don’t forget the fudge! Beef sticks from No Bull Ranch for the carnivores stocking… stock up!

Want to impress the cook in your life? How about Fiery Sea Salt or Turmeric Plus from Gail’s Cupboard! Try Mad Dog Farm’s Garlic Sea Salt, Garlic Powder or Black Garlic products… sure to impress the snootiest of food snobs!

You guys… don’t blow the stuffers! That’s my favorite part… you’re all like “man no more gifts to open… life is so unfair”… and then you see it… the stuffers! I didn’t even get to all the amazing canned goods from Canned Classics, like my favorite… Zickles! Is it zucchini? Is it a pickle? Who cares…. it IS delicious! How about honey products from The Beekeeper’s Daughter or Newkirk Honey? Creamed honey is the absolute fanciest honey you can buy… hands down. Our Raw Honey Fruit Tea is a real showstopper and don’t even get me started on the gift baskets from Newkirk with honey body products, a beeswax candle and jar of honey. I want it… give it to me!

Now I know I’m supposed to be talking about edible gifts…. but… now that I’ve mentioned body products… let’s talk The Post! The soaps are a must give gift for me…. everyone gets one! Who doesn’t appreciate a nice bar of handmade soap huh… who? A monster that’s who. Pfft.

Well I sure hope I helped. I really tried to give you a good array of easy affordable gift ideas for just about any ole Tom, Dick er Tootsie on your list. If you don’t like any of these ideas then why the heck are you reading my blog… get the heck out of here! Happy Holidays yah bums!

xo, The Soup Chic

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Our little piece of the pie.

You may have heard the news…. we finally have a storefront!


It’s been a long and trying journey of red tape, delays and inspections, but we are finally here in our new home! 970 Wyoming Ave. in Forty Fort is the new home-base for our humble (and cute!) marketplace and a new and improved kitchen space for our gal and yours… The Soup Chic.

We are bigger, we are better, and we are ready to be your new favorite spot! Our hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturdays 10am – 2pm. Stop by for a unique variety of local goods, raw honey, local dairy and eggs, pasture raised meats, sustainably fished seafood, produce, fresh bread, and of course…. lovingly prepared soups, salads, and entrees! Those who fear change do not fret! We are still offering our weekly menu and marketplace goods online for order and delivery/pickup as usual 🙂

Some good news for those honest to goodness old fashioned folks, we are accepting CASH again! Along with checks, all kinds of cards, offers of dish washing and interesting trades for payment 🙂 You don’t have to order ahead, just stop in to see what’s cooking! We will do our best to keep the current in-house offerings posted on Instagram and Facebook (@chicchic.market / facebook.com/chicchicmarket) but don’t hesitate! If you see us post something that wets your whistle give us a call at 570-606-9515 and we’ll set it aside for you as we sell out rather fast! Please try not to ask us questions on social media though, we simply won’t see them! We are too busy chasing our tails!

Our fancy dancy cash register may not be working, we may be struggling to keep the shelves stocked, our website may be in desperate need of updating, and we may be spending 12hrs a day on our feet trying to do 10 things at once (unsuccessfully)… but we are here and we are ready to do this thing!

Meg and I (Jess) have always been blown away by all your amazing support and kind words throughout the years that keep us going on 12hr work days, through sky high dirty dishes, and seeming endless piles of chicken salad. Really, WE HAVE THE BEST CUSTOMERS!!!!  That has never been more apparent than in recent days with so many familiar and happy faces popping through our door with words of praise, gifts in hand, offers to help clean, and even make goodies for our grand opening! I speak for both of us when I say that your support truly is what keeps us going and we can not thank you enough!!! We are humbled by how amazing you all are!

xoxo, Jess & Meg

p.s. Our Grand Opening is tomorrow 12-4pm…. see you all there!





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Pay to play… why I plan on buying my vote.


I cast my vote yesterday, I’ll do it again today, and probably tomorrow too. I bet you cast a vote or two yourself and didn’t realize it. We seldom stop to consider the great power we yield. We are… CONSUMERS! All powerful beings wielding the power to shape the very world we live in…. mwaahh ha ha ha!

Seriously though, money = influence. I think we are all aware of this concept, and we know all too well how this fun little game plays out in politics. But that isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the power we yield with our lousy five bucks. Five bucks that is dispensable to us, yet indispensable to others. Our grocery money might not have the power of international influence but it can move mountains in your home town. Wouldn’t it be nice to see and feel your influence right as it’s happening, the power of change coursing through your very hands, capitalism bending at your very will… MMMWWAAHH HA HA HA! Sorry, sorry.

Democracy should work like this, one voice = one vote. We all know that’s not always the case. But where it does work is right here, where your voice is heard loud and clear. When you choose to give your vote, and subsequently your money, to a local businesses in your town the impact will be immediate and tangible. Your support is the deciding factor of whether they remain on Main St. or fade away like others before them. Whether the next generation inherits the farm or a development goes up in it’s place. Whether your farmer’s market is bursting with fresh local produce, baked goods and jams, or knock-off purses and cell phone covers. That’s a lot of responsibility I know, but it’s the simple and all too real truth of what is happening in our communities. If not you, then who?

I work with a lot of farmers, producers, shop owners. I frequent farmer’s markets, both as a consumer and as a seller. I run a business that strives to support other businesses. I talk to a lot of folks on both sides of the equation about this very thing. I apologize if you are one of these people who have been stuck in one of my 45 min. rants on said subject. Basically I talk a lot, and I am always surprised when I am met with confusion as to the state of affairs. Let me be very clear. Many of these businesses, the farm that gives you the warm and fuzzies as your tots board the hay wagon, the multi-generational family owned businesses that produce your favorite jams and honey, the new exciting upstart that sets your hipster heart aflutter… they are all about one bad season away from calling it quits.

Now, my intention here is not to scare you into buying local or make you sad, so if I’m going in that direction I apologize and please allow me to right the ship. I only wish to lay out the stakes, as they really are, for you to judge. As business owners we don’t talk about this with our clientele. It is generally agreed upon that when someone asks you “How’s business?” you say “great!”… no matter what. As we should. No one wants to buy from a sad, mad purveyor of goods, it’s all part of the job. We present ourselves well at all times. If a business is slipping to the point that you notice, it is generally too late to do anything about. This is the dilemma you see? This is why I am choosing to shed light on a dim subject. I want you to have a say, you must have one!

Now having said that, options are a privilege we don’t all have. Sometimes we have to make hard choices where money is concerned. When hard times hit such “pressing matters” of whom to support with our purchases go out the window. This matter is for those who have options. Those with the fortunate privilege of choice. I’m asking you to choose wisely. You do not realize the power you hold. Not just for yourself but for those without a voice as well. Let me explain.

I think we are all familiar with supply and demand. The supply of these goods can not go up without demand. If we, the privileged choosers, create a market for local goods we can help to bring the costs down. Particularly with regards to locally produced food. The farms can grow more if we can buy more, and more supply can lower costs. Lower costs mean more choices for more people with otherwise limited options. Don’t we all deserve to know where our food comes from, I mean really know! Can you imagine local produce in the salad bar at public schools? A year round indoor market bustling with activity, cooking classes and educational programs for kids! A community canning kitchen, an old fashioned meat locker! I can! I do!

Dream with me folks, but,  also do what is very tangible and very real now. Support the change you want. Put your money where your mouth is.


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Falls Fair in Love and S’more – Your guide to the best fall activities in NEPA!

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ― William Cullen Bryant

We couldn’t agree more Bill! Here is a short list of some of our favorite ways to celebrate the BEST season of the year. Number one… is buy more soup, of course, then proceed to the following activities and enjoy!

Bloomsburg Fair Sep 24 – Sep 30


What would Fall be without the Fair?!?! It is the grand ball of the season…. go, eat, ride, repeat! For more info go to www.bloomsburgfair.com

Dymonds Farm Hayrides and Pumpkin Patch Sep 24 – Oct 30

Enjoy a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch on one of NEPA’s prettiest farms. Don’t forget to grab some of thier famous baked goods on your way out! Open every weekend during regular hours at 352 Brace Rd. in Orange PA. Click here for directions or call (570) 333-5011

12th Annual Noxen Intertribal Fall Pow Wow  Sep 24 – Sep 26

Have you ever wanted to go to a pow wow? Here is your chance! Native dancers, foods, crafts and more. Go to www.powwow-power.com for info.


Saturday and Sunday 10-4. Featuring local cheeses from Leraysville Cheese Factory, locally grown apples and cider from Grassy Ridge Orchards, and lots more! Food, live music and fun! Go to www.creeksidegardens.com for more details.

Pumpkinland at Dundee Gardens Oct 1 – Oct 30

Every Saturday and Sunday in October from noon – 5! History of Halloween hayride, pony rides, haunted house, obstacle course, pumpkin painting, inflatable maze, seasonal food and beverages, Native American Teepee. Go to www.dundeegardens.com for more details.

PEEC Harvest Festival Oct 1, 2016 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Celebrate the season with the beauty of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. For info go to www.peec.org

Fall Foliage Weekends in Jim Thorpe Oct 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16

One of my favorite places on earth! Take in the Fall weather with a visit to the  “Switzerland of PA”. A village nestled into the mountainside along the Lehigh River and forgotten in time. Take a ride on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway (get the open air ticket for the best ride!) then have a drink on the veranda of the Harry Packer Mansion, you won’t regret it.

Colonial Harvest Fest  Oct 2, 2016 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Held at the Nathan Denison House, 35 Denison Street, Forty-Fort, PA. I love this event! The home is charming and the demonstrations and volunteers are very informative. Demonstrations will include, spinning, colonial firearms, hearth cooking, herbs, embroidery, quill and ink, children’s crafts, Revolutionary War soldier uniform dress and accoutrements, blacksmith, frontiersman, hand log sawing, and many more. There will also be food and drink for sale. All children will receive a free pumpkin to decorate themselves at the children’s craft room. More info.

Moon Light Maze at Whistle Pig  Oct 7 – Oct 8  / Oct 14- Oct 15  /  Oct 28 – Oct 29

Bring your flashlight and navigate the maze at dark! Last entry to maze is 8pm, go to whistlepigpumpkin.com for more info. They do hayrides too!

ELK MOUNTAIN FALL FESTIVAL Oct 8, 2016 12:00 AM – midnight

A great place to enjoy the fall foliage and so much more. Go elkmountainarea.com for details.

Quiet Valley Farm Harvest Festival Oct 8, 2016 – Oct 9, 2016

Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm is hosting it’s 42nd annual Harvest Festival. Open 10am to 5pm both days rain or shine. Come enjoy harvest time on the farm. Learn about heritage crafts and traditional skills such as spinning, weaving, broom making, scrapple making, apple butter making, basket making and candle making. There will also be plenty of folk entertainment, good country food, children’s activities, pumpkin decorating, a quilt raffle, pony rides, horse drawn wagon rides, one room schoolhouse presentations, outdoor brick bake oven and much more. Go to quietvalley.org for details.

Heritage Day at Frances Slocum  Oct 9, 2016 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

If you have never attended this event you are missing out! Spend a day at this beautiful park celebrating nature and our history. Click here for more info.

Heller’s Orchard Fall Apple Festival

This festival has it ALL! Butter churning… check, cross cut saw competition… check, feed bag race… check, frying pan toss?!?!? check! Plus like a million delicious thing to eat made with apples. See. You. There. Click here for more details.

Pumpkin Festival at Ol’ Country Barn Oct 15 – Oct 16

You guys! How cute is a pumpkin festival at the Ol’ Country Barn eeehhhh? Click here for more info.

The Pumpkin House at Creekside Gardens Oct 21, 22, 23

Friday Saturday and Sunday 6pm-9pm. Experience over 400 glowing carved pumpkins on display along with food, live music, campfire and more! Join the staff and come dressed in costume! All the details at creeksidegardens.com

Haunted Halloween Lantern Tours Oct 21 – Oct 22 and Oct 28 – Oct 29

Ghoulish fun for the entire family! As you are guided down the dark streets of Eckley…watch out for ghosts and goblins! Bring your own flashlight or purchase a lantern in the museum lobby or gift shop. For details go to eckleyminersvillage.com

Colonial Superstition, Folklore and Witchcraft Tour Learn how Colonials protected themselves from witches and masquerading devils by candlelight. Inside the Nathan Denison House 6pm – 9pm. Click here for details.



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NEPA CSA & Market Guide

If you happened to catch our spot on today’s Pa Live! today you know that Earth Day has us talking about the benefits of eating local. Of course we are always talking about the benefits of eating local…. as there are many! This time we are highlighting the food waste epidemic here in America. A growing problem that simply eating local can help solve.

Did you know that 30-40% of food produced in the US ends up in the landfill rather than in our bellies? That is a startling 20 lbs per person per month. On its journey from farm to table a lot can go wrong, but there is something fairly simple and greatly impactful that we can do, right? Choose local.

Local products travel less, are handled less, use less packaging and are produced using fewer precious resources. Small farms and producers often find creative uses for the waste that is unavoidable, such as turning organic waste into feed or compost. Simply put, in a small operation even a little loss can hurt, so we get creative and work together to provide solutions to the problem of waste. Buying local goods supports these efforts and well… that’s good for everyone.

“No everyday decision is more important to our health—or the health of our planet—than what we eat.” – NRDC.org


Rowlands Pennsylvania Produce: Summer Salad Share – The perfect CSA for those who love fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. (20 weeks @ $19 per week) Call Bill or Amanda at (570) 561-4093 or email amanda@rowlandspaproduce.org

Quails-R-Us: Farm raised poultry, eggs, lamb, pork and goat. Call (570) 224-0014

Dancing Hen Farms: Weekly shares of healthy, local produce grown without synthetic chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers. Egg and chicken shares also available. Call 570-925-0263

Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative: Large co-op out of Lancaster offering a wide range of CSA options. From traditional produce to fruit, herbs, cheese and medicinal options. Call 717-656-3533 or email csa@lancasterfarmfresh.com

Purple Pepper Farms: Hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables using sustainable and organic practices. Call Trevor at (570) 815-7861 or email purplepepperfarms@gmail.com

Fullers Overlook Farm: Everything from vegetables to pasture raised meats and even flowers! Call Liz at (570) 687-4311 or email fullersoverlookfarm@gmail.com

Lackawaxen Farm Company LFC provides fresh, sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables, and other farm products. 570-253-5985

To meet some of these nice folks in person come out to our CSA sign-up on May 7th at Changes Fitness in Luzerne. If a CSA share is a little intimidating to you, no worries, here at Chic Chic Marketplace you can always get the local products you need in the exact quantity you want. You may have also noticed a currently empty section of our market labeled “bundles”, these will be our version of a CSA.  Offering you a selection of fresh produce, pastured meats and eggs, dairy and more at a great group price. We hope to have these up soon so you can truly take advantage of all the great local goods this area has to offer!

Don’t forget to look for these local markets in your neighborhood as well!

Farmers Markets:

Back Mountain Library Farmers Market  Saturdays 9am-2pm July – Oct. Dallas Elementary School parking lot Hildebrandt Rd. Dallas, PA (570) 675-1182

Wilkes-Barre Farmers Market Public Square Wilkes-Barre every thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. June through November 17th.

Pittston City Farmers’ Market South Main Street Pittston, PA.  2016 Season opens on Tuesday, July 5th and will be every Tuesday until November 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (570) 655-6140

South Side Farmers Market 509 Cedar Ave, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18505 The South Side Farmers’ Market will be open every Saturday from October 10 to May 7 from 10am-2pm kkearney@uncnepa.org

Scranton Co-op Farmer’s Market  900 Barring Ave Scranton, PA. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12pm to 6pm starting in July.

Abington Winter Farm Market  1310 Morgan Hwy Clarks Summit, PA. Every Saturday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Tunkhannock Farmers Market 809 Hunter Hwy Tunkhannock, PA in the Brady and Cavany Ace Hardware Store parking lot. Saturdays 10am-2pm June – Nov.

Forks Farm Market  299 Covered Bridge Road Orangeville, PA 17859 2016 market dates: Saturday, April 23 (10am-1pm), Saturday, May 14 & 28 (10am-2pm), Saturday,  June 11 & 25 (10am-2pm), Saturday, July 9 & 23 (10am-2pm), Saturday, August 13 & 27  (10am-2pm), Saturday, September 10 & 24 (10am-2pm), Saturday, October 8  & 22 (10am-2pm), Tuesday, November 22 (1-5pm) On Farm Turkey Pick-Up Saturday, December 17 (10am-1pm) Holiday Market.  tel. (570) 683-5820

If we have overlooked a CSA or market please do share it with us in the comments below! Happy Earth Day everyone!

Additional sources for finding local food:




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Ask Jess?

I’d like to start a conversation, about anything really. Communication is the most vital resource we have in many ways. The sharing of information through language is what arguably makes us human. So why is it that with the advancement of technology and modern convenience that we have somehow stopped communicating with whom we purchase from? As anyone who has struggled to even locate a 1-800 number on a website or shouted obscenities at the automated operator can tell you, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth. If one didn’t know any better, it would seem almost, as if they meant to deter you… hmmm.

Go to your local market and ask the butcher on how to best braise short ribs or the produce manager where you can find the rutabaga and you might just be met with blank stares. It’s not thier fault though, many times they just aren’t experts in thier field… nor do they have to be to do the job expected of them. We as consumers have demanded variety, convenience and lower costs… and that’s exactly what we got. This created an environment where efficient large operations flourished, and small specialty shops (also known as expert butchers, bakers, fishmongers, farmers, etc.) failed. But you’re here because you know that, and you demand better.

I won’t pretend that I could even come close to representing the aforementioned experts. I can’t. What I can and will do is enthusiastically attempt to answer your questions with the best of my ability and with the help of my vast network of “experts”. I will use this platform as well as our pop-ups to connect you with this market and its vendors. I will share recipes, knowledge, tips and anecdotal tales to my heart’s content… and hopefully you will like it 🙂 So please ask me questions, give me feedback, tell me what you need. I solemnly swear to listen.

Email me at Jess@chicchicmarket.com to have your question featured in a future blog post.

I will leave you with an oldie but a goodie from the time my friend Shayna realized you could …roast …garlic. I often take for granted the knowledge I have aquired over the years  so here it is for you folks whom it may benefit 🙂

How to roast garlic… easy peasy. Split heads width-wise as to make for easier clove removal later (sometimes I do just leave them whole). Place on foil and drizzle with oil, olive is nice 🙂 Wrap up like a pouch and place in *400 degree oven (toaster ovens work too). About 20-30 min or until golden and fragrant. Now spread it on some bread, purée into soups and sauces or just eat it off your fingers like I do!

*If you are prone to burning things you can roast at a lower temp (say 325-350) for a longer period of time for more forgiving results.

Bonus tip: Wait! don’t throw that away…. save those skins for stock! You can freeze them for later use if you’re not making stock this week. This is the secret ingredient in my vegetable stocks… DON’T. TELL.



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Why you should be wary of raisins.

I have a love hate relationship with the internet, I am sure in this I am not alone. It is both mesmerizing and nauseating in it’s power over us. Here we stand with the world at our fingertips and what do we choose to click and share… how to contour our face to look like a completely different person, badly photoshopped thigh gaps, Donald Trump!? I too am guilty of falling prey to clickbait, but only between my extensive research on the bermuda triangle and how aliens built the pyramids… of course.

I am deeply concerned with all of the aforementioned topics, but mostly I am concerned by dangerously misleading information passed around as cold hard facts by many in the food/diet/health media. This time of year in particular is prime season for a brand new magic bullet, ancient secret, miracle food or toxic chemical to pop up in my newsfeed. Most of this is propaganda and fluff, and no Sir.. I do not like it.

Now comes the bit where I fully disclose to you kind folks that I am in no way a professional anything and these are just my humble opinions. Acquiring knowledge from an article, or thousands of articles, plus several award winning documentaries and best selling books on any topic does not make me or you or #foodgirl an expert. Be wary folks, be very wary. Ask questions, require facts and always consider the source of this newfound information of the utmost importance. By all means please remain wonderfully curious and open minded, but proceed with the same amount of caution as you would grant say, an iced over pond.

The lines have been blurred, purposely so, by those who might financially benefit from your concern. I am not immune to it. I have been through the cycle of read>panic>purchase. I have ionized and alkalized myself, fasted, feasted and essentially oiled my aura. Eventually the fog clears and I regain control over my impulses and reevaluate my new found voodoo. It’s not all bad, some voodoo I rather like. I will treat myself to magic balms and green drinks as I please. It’s fine to do so and you should, by all means, do what works for you. But please don’t look for magic in a pill or a diet. Magic can be found in sleeping puppies, calm lakes, and Middle Earth, but not kale. I would only ask that on every third waxing moon we all gather in our best yoga gear and sit round circle criss cross applesauce and collectively call upon that tried and true ancient wisdom known as… common sense… and science, also science.

I am often asked, being in the food industry and all, for my opinion on diet. Am I vegetarian, vegan, raw, organic, paleo, gluten free, mono mealing, macrobiotic? Yes, sure all of the above and then some. In fact I would challenge you to find something edible that I would not like to eat, let’s call it research. I know, many of the diets I have mentioned are exclusive rather than inclusive, and that’s fine… very responsible and necessary in some medical instances. All fancy monikers and rules aside, diets are just slang for “what I am choosing to put in my mouth”… so let’s start there.

What should I put in my mouth? All jokes aside… this doesn’t seem like it should be such a hard question right? And there are some very common sense type thoughts that you should have when evaluating all potential “food” whether it be plant, animal or gluten. As a parent of young children I find myself answering this question often. My child will walk up to me chewing a mysterious object and I will be obliged to investigate. Firstly, I will determine if the object is indeed food. Oh it’s a raisin, I think, good good. But where did the raisin come from? Did you find it under the couch? How did it get there? Was it stuck to the bottom of a shoe that was taken off while sitting on the couch dislodging said raisin in the process? Where did the shoe take the raisin before it was dislodged? What contaminants has the raisin potentially become exposed to?! You can see how easily things can escalate.

Take this example and apply it to your food sources. My philosophy has always been the fewer hands handling my food the better. It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense. Simply put, always buy from the source when possible. If you can buy your produce from the farmer whose hands planted the seed, the bread from the baker whose hands kneaded the dough and the chicken from the same hands that raised the chick… why wouldn’t you? Know your source and you will know what you are truly eating. When food travels or is processed by many hands it leaves lots of room for human error. Sure we can all screw up, but at least if Ralph the radish farmer screws up I know where to find him.

This is an ideal, but one I think we should start demanding along with better quality products and resources. We have gone down the slippery slope of cheaper and faster to questionable results. I for one will strive for a better future while occasionally enjoying a fast and cheap burger, I am not pulling any punches here. And that’s ok, all journeys start with a single step and we need to encourage and promote… not vilify and ostracize. Can we all agree to stop telling each other that this food is “junk” and that food is “clean”? Do I sound like a hypocrite? Good, we are all guilty of hypocrisy. No diet is the superior, no one is “dirty” or “clean” and people are limited by very real things such as resources and money. Having a choice is a privilege so if you do please don’t judge. Use that choice instead to enact change by demanding better resources and higher standards so those without a vote might also benefit. We vote with our dollars and our actions, slowly but surely those votes are being tallied by the powers that be. They don’t listen to much but they do count their “votes”.

Now that I have said my piece, you should also note that I myself am trying to sell you things. You should probably research me and all my vendors. Before you do I just want you to know that I was once considered to be “young and reckless”. I’d rather you hear it from me first.


the Soup Chic



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