Changes are in store for downtown Raleigh’s weekly summer farmer’s market: it’s rebranding and moving from City Plaza to Market and Exchange plazas, the two pedestrian corridors located between Fayetteville and Wilmington Streets that the city recently spruced up with a $1.2 million investment.
“We want to see those plazas activated and demonstrate that they are great locations to host an event,” says Stacey Simeone, the marketing director for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. “These plazas may not be huge but we want people to realize that they are available to rent from the city.”
Simeone expects the market to host the same number of vendors in its new home as in previous years. It will no longer be called the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market, however, but Market on Market instead. “We wanted to be more inclusive of the fact that it’s makers and all kinds of different artisans, not just farmers,” Simeone says.
The market has proven popular with downtown residents and workers, and valuable for vendors. At least three who had their start at the downtown market have gone on to open brick and mortar locations, including Kim Hunter’s Sarah Cecilia Good Food Company—Hunter now owns Kimbap in Seaboard Station—as well as The Freezing Pointe, which rebranded as Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream with a location in Cary, and Melina’s Fresh Pasta, which now has a store in Durham.
Market on Market kicks off Wednesday, May 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and runs through late September.
By the Numbers
The first downtown Raleigh Farmers Markets were held in Moore Square Park
The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market officially kicked off in the newly renovated City Plaza on Fayetteville Street
The estimated number of tents set up for vendors who sell goods at the market each week
The estimated number of people who visit the market each week
The number of weeks the market was open in the spring/summer of 2017
The number of weeks the market will be open this year