Categorized | NEWS

A new season of Midtown Farmers Market opens in a new location

Posted on 22 April 2019 by calvin

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
The Midtown Farmers Market will open their season in a brand new location on Sat., May 4. Moon Palace Books will host the market for 2019-2020, in an open lot adjacent to their store at 3032 Minnehaha Ave. Market manager Jenna Yeakle said, “We could not be happier with this site. Moon Palace Books co-owners Jamie and Angela Schwesnedl were once Midtown Farmers Market vendors themselves. Their entrepreneurial spirit and community leadership will ensure that the market remains strong during our two year transition period.”

The Tuesday night market will open June 4

The original market site at E. Lake St. and Hiawatha Ave. is under construction. Hennepin County is about to begin Phase II of the Hiawatha/Lake Development, which includes a public plaza that will be the permanent home of the Midtown Farmers Market. By the time it’s completed, it will be almost ten years ago that the Corcoran Neighbor-hood Association began working toward this vision.

In case you’re worried, the market is not in a holding pattern in the meantime. This year it’s welcoming several new vendors including R & R Cultivation (local mushrooms), Jajja Wellness (fresh juices), Northern Coffeeworks (craft coffee), Centro Tyrone Guzman (youth-made salsa), and Bull Thistle Gardens (organic urban produce.)

“Many of our returning vendors are trying exciting new things too,” Yeakle said. “Asa’s Bakery will be adding sandwiches made from their naturally leavened sourdough breads and bagels, home-made cream cheese, spreads, and the market’s amazing seasonal produce.”

Photo right: Midtown Farmers Market manager Jenna Yeakle said, “We’re excited about our two-year interim location at Moon Palace Books. This is an opportunity for us to continue building relationships with our neighbors.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

As in years’ past, there will be live entertainment every Saturday from 9am-1pm. The Brass Messengers will play on opening day, with a full season of other musicians, poets, puppeteers, and storytellers to follow.

Want to perform? Contact Jenna Yeakle at manager@midtownfarmersmarket.org with questions.

Tuesday night special attractions will include free Zumba classes in partnership with the Midtown YWCA (June 4-Aug, 27 at 5:30pm), with Moon Palace continuing to host trivia, movie showings, and book clubs in their store.

On-street parking will be available on Minnehaha and Snelling avenues, as well as in the Arbeiter Brewing parking lot on market days. A bicycle rewards program is in the works with the Hub Bicycle Co-op: fill a six-punch card and enter a monthly drawing to receive $25 of merchandise from the Hub.

Yeakle said, “At our peak in 2015-2016, the market served about 50,000 people per season. Last year, our attendance dropped in response to disruption from construction. We think our new, temporary location will be great—with excellent visibility on Minnehaha Ave.”

The Midtown Farmers Market started 17 years ago and has been a pioneer in the neighborhood farmers’ market movement ever since. “We made the mold for what has become standard practice across the state,” Yeakle explained. “Those wooden tokens called Market Bucks? We invented them. Come to the information table at the market and swipe your credit card in $5 increments. You’ll receive tokens that don’t expire, in case you forgot to bring cash. Our market was also the first in the state to accept EBT and SNAP payments. Innovation and access to healthy food have been core components of the market since the beginning.”

In the spirit of innovation, this year’s market hopes to host 10 new-to-the-market vendors through its Try It! Program. A Try It! Program workshop will be held on May 18 for those interested. Yeakle said, “We’re prioritizing applicants who have historically been marginalized and kept out of entrepreneurial opportunities. The goal of this program is to help emerging entrepreneurs explore whether or not becoming a Farmers Market vendor is a good fit for them. Becoming a farmers market vendor is hard work—requiring permits, licensing, insurance, specialized equipment, and marketing know-how. The Try It! Program helps prospective new vendors navigate all that. We waive application and stall fees for two market days for Try It! Program participants, and provide resources and mentoring as well. Call 612-724-7457 to register.”

To keep in touch with what is happening regularly at the Farmers Market, visit midtownfarmersmarket.org.

 

 

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