Miles Farmers Market is packed with the freshest produce of the season, and it’s more than garden variety

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Miles Farmers Market opened in 1971 selling renowned Ohio-grown sweet corn. Over the past four decades it has expanded to offer thousands of different items. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Laura Briedis

Even though farmers customarily get up at the crack of dawn, Frank Cangemi beats them to work. As the owner of Miles Farmers Market, he has been going to the Northern Ohio Food Terminal every morning at 3 a.m. for over 40 years to hand select the freshest produce for his customers. And three times a week in the late morning, he drives to a produce auction in Amish Country to bring back fruits and vegetables so fresh they are still warm from the fields.

“A lot of the produce is picked in the morning and is on our shelves the same day,” says store manager Justin Golobek. “It doesn’t get any fresher than that.”

“This time of the year, we source as much produce as possible from local farms,” he adds. “Many farmers with whom we have established relationships also deliver produce directly to our store in Solon.”

Bountiful Produce
Miles Farmers Market opened in 1971 selling renowned Ohio-grown sweet corn. Over the past four decades it has expanded to offer thousands of different items.

“We carry the most extensive selection of produce anywhere in the city,” says Frankie, the second-generation Cangemi who helps run the family business.

The market has a 36-foot wet rack overflowing with the freshest leafy vegetables, roots, lettuces and more. And throughout the season there are 50 varieties of plums, 75 varieties of apples and 40 citrus sizes and types, just to name a few.

“Most people don’t realize how many varieties of fruits and vegetables there are,” says Frankie. “For instance, we have plums ranging from ebony plums to Italian prune plums, cauliflower ranging from white to yellow and purple, and more than a dozen different-colored heirloom tomatoes.”

In Peak Season
Though many farms were affected by the heavy spring rains and the crops are being harvested a couple weeks later this year, the produce is still robust and flavorful.

In peak season at the market this month are homegrown zucchini, cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and pickling cucumbers. And the peaches, cherries and concord grapes are oh-so-juicy right now.

Miles Farmers Market store manager Justin Golobek looks over the extraordinary cauliflower selection, which includes purple, yellow and white varieties.

“We have lots of customers who make their own pickles come in and get cucumbers, fresh dill, vinegar, kosher salt, garlic and pickling spices,” says Justin. “Our farmers stagger the growing seasons so we always have a steady supply of dill and cucumbers throughout the summer.”

The market also partners with a company that forages for wild mushrooms. The mushrooms are picked in the morning and shipped to the store overnight. Customers can find varieties of golden chanterelle and lobster mushrooms when in season.

There are also a growing number of organic items in the bins and on the shelves. “Over the years, our organic footprint in our store has doubled in size,” says Frankie. “We are partnering with local organic farmers to source kale, Swiss chard, lettuce and much more.”

Foodie Haven
With such a large selection of market-fresh produce, it is no surprise that many local chefs shop here.

“A lot of personal chefs shop here, as well as chefs from high-end restaurants and country clubs,” notes Justin.

And for those who like to cook at home, they will find exotic and hard-to-find produce in the store.

On staff at Miles Farmers Market for 30-plus years, Toni shows off locally grown peaches in season right now.

“If you don’t see an item on our shelves, let us know and we will do our best to find it for you,” says Frankie.

“We have customers who see something on a TV cooking show or are trying a new recipe and looking for something that is not commonly found in area grocery stores. And being a small family business, we have the ability to go out and hunt down specific items to accommodate.”

Miles Farmers Market is located at 28560 Miles Road, in Solon. Visit for store details.

Categories: Eastside Food & Dining