The Market Minutebrings you to Seattle, Washington’s Melrose Market this week. So much of the inspiration for East End Market came from the community-centric-style of this market. Gabby Lothrop, East End Market’s Director, interviews one of the Market’s merchants and gives a little tour of the magical place!
Last week I had the good fortune of attending the 8th International Public Markets Conference. It was my first time attending this biennial conference, and my first time visiting the city of Cleveland. Both were inspirational, and I am back with even bigger dreams for the future of East End Market and our local food community. I feel like I could write a thousand posts about the experience, but I’ll try to limit this to the highlights.
Eagerly checking in and flipping through conference materials!
The conference was produced by the Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. For PPS, public markets play a vital role in placemaking, and it’s our hope that East End Market can play that role right here in this community.
At the first day of sessions, I heard from the talented folks behind many of the grand market halls of America, like the Eastern Market in Detroit, Pike Place Market in Seattle, and Cleveland’s own West Side Market. I also heard from managers of weekly farmers markets throughout the country and around the world, including the hugely successful Santa Monica Farmers Market. We explored the benefits, challenges, opportunities and ambitions that public markets can create for communities. Public markets are more than just places that “do food.” They create a space for diverse people to interact with food and each other. They can be centers for learning, and for connecting the dots of a vibrant food community. There is so much a public market can be to a community.
The conference in action
This event was the kind of gathering that gets your mental wheels turning about how the lessons you’re learning can apply to and inspire your own projects at home. Here at East End Headquarters (our humble conference room that we use as an office), we have always envisioned East End as a multipurpose hub of activity. We want to give new and expanding food businesses a fresh opportunity to grow in an exciting and supportive environment. We want to create a space for events – foodie and otherwise – to engage our neighbors and new friends. We want to bring farming to the city with our market garden fronting Corrine Drive. We want to create a venue for local arts and culture to connect with the food community. In sum, it is our intent to build East End Market into a catalyst for placemaking.
Cleveland's West Side Market is a cornerstone in a thriving community. Can we do the same?
There are a lot of ways that we are looking to accomplish that. A lot of it will come from the sheer energy of bringing so many food leaders and entrepreneurs into one place. Much of it will come from new neighbors coming into the market and interacting with one another. We hope some will come from making the market accessible to walkers, cyclist, bus riders, and drivers alike. We will partner with local organizations and businesses to connect those local food dots. We hope that you’ll join us in creating diverse and engaging programming that will continue to grow and better connect this community.