JACKSON, MI – Coming off a successful summer 2023 season, organizers of the Grand River Farmers Market look to continue the momentum through the winter.
The market, operated by the Jackson Downtown Development Authority, is estimated to have had about 400 visitors per day and about 20 different vendors this summer and fall season. Manager Dodie Wheeler said the market saw an increase in the number of vendors, merchandise and even live musical performances.
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After this summer’s boom, and seeing demand for fresh produce during the colder months, the Grand River Farmers Market is now offering a second season as a Winter Market.
“There are four large apartment complexes (downtown), and they don’t have anywhere to go to buy groceries in downtown Jackson,” Wheeler said. “So, given that Jackson is a food desert, and given the success of the summer market, there was a lot of demand for that year-round access, which we’ve never had before.”
The new winter market will run every Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside Found Church, located at 141 E. Michigan Ave. in downtown Jackson, from November through April.
Pastor Chris Hedenberg said the church has donated its main floor space to the market to help local businesses and provide an opportunity for people to step inside the church.
“Our real mission statement is to lead and love our diverse community of Jackson together in Christ,” Hedenberg said. “So, we are constantly looking for opportunities to support and even champion other things happening around us that we can participate in to help strengthen the community around us “
A produce stand inside the Grand River Farmers Market “Winter Market”. (Photo provided by Grand River Farmers Market).
At the market, Wheeler said, people can expect to find roughly more than 20 rotating vendors, each selling eggs, beef, fish, microgreens, mushrooms, baked good, pasta, honey, hot prepared foods, Offers items ranging from jewelry and dried flowers. ,
Some vendors include Grandma’s Lavender, Golly G Gluten Free and The Kilted Farmer.
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The Winter Market opened the first weekend of November and has been popular so far, Wheeler said, with about 200 people coming each Friday.
“It’s been very well received, it’s been very well attended since the beginning,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler hopes the Winter Market will become an annual event. Summer farmers markets will resume in May, right after the indoor markets end, before ending in October.
More information can be found on the Grand River Farmers Market Facebook page and the DDA website. People interested in becoming vendors can also apply on the DDA website.
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