Downtown Needs A Full-time Farmers’ Market

market_goodiesI spend my money downtown. If you want my money, then open your business downtown — or at least in Springfield’s urban core, an easy walk or bicycle ride from downtown.

That’s not to say I do not spend money elsewhere. I do because I must in some cases. But I work hard to limit those cases.

I have not yet visited the new(ish) Farmers Market of the Ozarks. I’m not likely to go anytime soon. It’s a suburban amenity. If I spend money there, it’s a vote for placing such businesses outside the urban core. And I don’t go to the Greater Springfield Farmers Market for the same reason.

I do go to the C-Street Market on Commercial Street.

I’d rather walk, however, to one downtown. It’s time for Springfield to seriously consider the attractiveness of a permanent downtown market — especially as developers continue to build loft apartments (and student housing) and the population continues to grow.

Check out these 10 characteristics of successful city markets. Everyone of them could be reproduced downtown through an infill redevelopment project. Here’s a truncated list from the article:

  • Full-day hours of operation — because people need food everyday all day, not just as few hours per week.
  • Accessible, central location — because, well, obviously.
  • Protection from the elements — because a market should be a comfortable hang-out, a destination.
  • Affordable — most markets hereabouts seem to be.
  • Food service and seating — again, think hang-out and destination.
  • Integrated with public space — again, think hang-out and destination.

And go visit the Soulard Farmers Market in St. Louis. It meets all ten characteristics from the article. It’s a hang-out, a destination. How cool would that be here in #downtownSGF?

Comments 3

  1. Eli Damon wrote:

    All Things Local (http://allthingslocal.coop/) is a new store in Amherst, MA that sells local products on consignment. I think it’s a good model.

    Posted 21 Apr 2014 at 1:20 pm
  2. Andy Cline wrote:

    We have a similar store here called Home Grown Foods. They are located in an inner-ring suburb within the urban core. So that’s a good thing.

    Posted 22 Apr 2014 at 6:24 am
  3. Michael wrote:

    There’s a similar store here in Eau Claire, WI as well. It’s about a 5 minute bike ride on a safe, flat, gridded street network from my apartment. I mostly use it for salad, brazing greens, and eggs. It’s a great reasource.

    Is there a non-janky way for bikes and peds to get across Chesnut going to and from C-Street and downtown? I can’t remember how I did it when I was in Springfield, but I remember thinking my route really sucked.

    Lastly, the localvore index: http://www.strollingoftheheifers.com/locavoreindex/

    Posted 23 Apr 2014 at 5:15 pm