Robin Shuster wants to talk -- to everyone.
"Those grapes are amazing," Shuster murmured to a shopper on a recent Sunday at the Bloomingdale farmers market. "There's a wonderful chicken recipe -- do you eat chicken? Not often? Well, you must try this. It's a Medieval French recipe."
"Did you find everything you need?" she chirps, all but blocking the path of a couple heading for their car. "Would you like to subscribe to the market e-mail? If you don't like it, I'll just unsubscribe you."
Okay. She can be a little bit pushy. Shuster herself will admit that. But there's charm in her enthusiasm for fresh celery ("isn't that flavor intense?"), goat meat, grapes and the small but sweet Charentais melons that she is sure she can persuade some farmer to grow next year. In her trademark floppy sun hat and oversize sunglasses, the 56-year-old manager marches around the market with a file of recipes under her arm. For many, Shuster is as much a draw as the ripe produce, cheeses and meats she promotes at Bloomingdale and at the Saturday 14th and U farmers market in Northwest, which she also directs.