Corktown-made and Corktown-powered, the Corktown Farmers Market will open May 14, hosting 13 local Detroit vendors on a lot on Michigan Avenue, right next to the Detroit Institute of Bagels. (The market's "grand opening" will take place Thursday, May 21.)
The vacant lot was converted into market space by volunteers aided with a $10,000 grant from the Detroit Lions and Hatch Detroit.
Corktown Farmers Market volunteer Ryan Anderson says, “The great thing about the Corktown Farmers Market is will provide the neighborhood with an easy and convenient way to buy food grown in the city, and even right here in Corktown.”
Anderson says he hopes that the market will provide fellow Corktown vendors a place to launch their businesses in the neighborhood as well.
“One of our goals in starting this market was to make it easy for new businesses to participate and test the waters,” Anderson says. “As small business owners and urban farmers ourselves, we wanted to be as supportive of our vendors as possible.
“That also means we're able to feature urban farms and food artisans you won't find anywhere else in the city.”
Motor City Soap Company vendor Caitlyn Pisarski sounds geeked about participating in the market. She says, “My business model is greatly inspired by agriculture, so it's exciting to sell handmade soaps and natural body care products alongside local growers."
“This market is a great opportunity to meet new customers,” Pisarki continues, “and it also fills a need for those who want mid-week options to buy local produce and artisan products.”
Eli Boyer, a managing partner at nearby restaurant Gold Cash Gold who will also participate in the market as a vendor, calls the Thursday time slot "unique." He says, “It’s different. I think it’s great. Obviously there is a ton of markets on Saturday, but the Thursday market is a great way to enjoy the weekend before it begins.”
Boyer says participating in the market is a way for Gold Cash Gold to become more deeply embedded within the Corktown community. He says, “It’s important to us to be a strong presence and strong member of the community. As a restaurant that takes pride in sourcing locally, there was really no reason not to. We have something people like to enjoy. … It’s very much in line with our food philosophy."
The Corktown Farmers Market will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, at 1236 Michigan Ave., Detroit. Parking will be available behind PJ’s Lager House and the Detroit Institute of Bagels.
The grand opening celebration will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21. Flamenco guitarist Steve Jarosz will provide live entertainment. For more information on the market, its vendors, or the big grand opening party, see corktownfarmersmarket.com.