Retirement has crossed Dorothy Marks' mind.

But the 90-year-old North Hopewell Township woman said she will keep doing what keeps her going.

Dorothy Marks, who turned 90 on April 2, has been an Eastern Market vendor for 58 years. She runs Melvin Marks Baked Products stand at the market in Springettsbury Township.

"It's in my blood," she said. "My mother and daddy were vendors when I was child. It's just something in our blood."

Longtime vendor: Dorothy Marks and her late husband, Melvin Marks, began selling baked goods at local markets more than 60 years ago.

They opened their stand at the now New Eastern Market in 1955, selling fruit breads, cakes and pies. Melvin Marks died in 1968.

Dorothy Marks of North Hopewell Township peeks through a display Friday at her Marks Bakery stand at New Eastern Market. The oldest vendor at the market,
Dorothy Marks of North Hopewell Township peeks through a display Friday at her Marks Bakery stand at New Eastern Market. The oldest vendor at the market, she celebrated her 90th birthday last week with a party boasting more than 200 guests. (BILL KALINA — bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

Today, the stand is mainly known as Marks Bakery and its main products are eggs, angel food cakes, whoopie pies, apple dumplings and breads made with bananas, apples, pumpkins and zucchinis, Dorothy Marks said.

She said she makes all her bakery items from scratch Mondays through Thursdays so they're ready for sale on Fridays.

"We're here every Friday," she said. "I'll be here. I'm going to keep going. I'm not retiring. That's up to the good Lord to decide."

Marks has four children, 27 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild.

Like family: She adds that the market's customers and vendors are like family to her and she's not ready to leave them.

They were among the more than 200 people who attended a birthday party for her on April 6 at the North Hopewell-Winterstown Fire Hall.

"I received so many flowers, and they were so beautiful," she said. "I got 222 cards. I'm still trying to read them all."

Marks has gotten to know a lot of people over the years because of her work, said Norma Keeney, the veteran vendor's sister-in-law.

"We work well together and we enjoy the people," said Keeney, also of North Hopewell Township. "So many people talk to her. She gets so many hugs. This is her life."

Market customer Mark Donley, 45, of Windsor Township, said he remembers Marks from his childhood when he came to market with his grandmother.

"Everybody likes (Marks') food," Donley said. "She's a nice lady to talk to."

A reminder: Marks is a reminder of how markets were in the past, said Michelle Fitz, a fellow vendor who runs John Fitz produce stand.

"She was here back when the market was filled with more farmers and more homemade goods," Fitz said. "We're losing a lot of that at the market. She sells good products at good prices."

Marks also knows how to relate to customers in a way that has kept them coming back to her for decades, Fitz added.

"She's amazing, very friendly," Fitz said. "She has more spunk and zip than people half her age."

—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.