Diane Claughton may be a retired chef, but she is far from living a life of ease. She started the Ocean Springs Fresh Market some years ago, and still runs it to this day. She works in association with Dita McCarthy, who runs the certified market in Long Beach.
Claughton is not content just to be the boss. She also is a vendor and delights the crowds with some of the best baked food can find anywhere. On the Saturday I stopped by, she had carrot and coconut cake, Florentine short bread, Lincolnshire plum cake, Victorian fruit cake, onion marmalade tart and maple pecan tart. Wow! What a selection.
If you are wandering around the market and hunger strikes, this is the tent to find. This also is the place to come if you have any questions about the market, whether you are thinking about becoming a vendor, you do have to meet the health department requirements, or are just looking for something hard to find.
If you buy a pastry from Claughton but want it to be just a bit more decadent, then buy a pint of freshly made butter from Country Girl’s Creamery, or some whole or chocolate milk to wash it down with. Their tent is just next door. You might also want to check out one of the vendors that sell local honey.