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Controversial vendor back at East Lansing Farmer's Market

Posted: 10:13 AM, Jun 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-04 14:19:19Z
Country Mill is back at Farmer's Market
Country Mill is back at Farmer's Market

For the first time in two years, the Country Mill is back for a full season at the East Lansing Farmer's Market.

The City banned the Charlotte farm after the owner, Steve Tennes would not allow same sex weddings at his venue citing religious beliefs. FOX 47 went down to opening day for the farmer's market to see how the community felt.

"Its a free country. Everyone has the right to their own opinions. As much as we may disagree with each other," Ben Eysselinck said.

Soon after being banned, Tennes' business was allowed back in after a federal district judge issued a preliminary injunction.

Now, The Country Mill is back in the market, and shoppers were split about their presence.

"I think it was a bigger deal than it should have been. You know the courts ruled in their favor. So that's why they are here," Norman Bauer said.

Others weren't so welcoming.

"You know, they certainly have the right to their own opinions. And as much as I disagree with their opinions, I'm not going to keep them away from here. At the same time. I'll choose not to patronage them," Eysselinck said.

While opinions differed Sunday, it didn't seem to slow business any, the Country Mill saw a steady flow of customers.

"That's their business, that's their property. I feel like it has nothing to do with the farmer's market and their business," Bauer said.

As the summer market begins, many are looking to put this all in the past.

"I don't think it should have happened in the first place," Bauer said.

Steve Tennes said in a statement to FOX 47:

"Our family has faithfully served everyone in our community from all different backgrounds and beliefs. It is our religious beliefs that teach us to love all of our neighbors and treat them with dignity and respect. We are excited to continue to do so, selling our organic apples and cider at the East Lansing’s farmer’s market."

The farmer's market is every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.