The idea for a new farmers’ market for Montgomery came from the community. A group of graduates of the Montgomery Citizens’ Leadership Academy class of 2010 decided to start it as a graduation project—a chance to create something for the community.
But back in 2010, the odds were against the Montgomery Farmers’ Market opening on time.
It was already early Spring when they got to work, but there was no location, no incorporation documents, no insurance, no signs and no farmers. What they had was the will to make it happen.
And the Market did open on June 5, 2010!
We had good weather, a dozen or so vendors, and the support of the City. Mayor Gerri Harbison cut the ribbon to officially open the Market, which started out in the parking lot next to the old white church, on Shelly Lane.
The next year, we formed a new partnership with Montgomery Elementary School, and moved to a bigger and more visible location on Montgomery Road—our current location. The visibility and the support of our neighbors and vendors has helped us grow.
Since then, we’ve more than tripled the number of vendors, quadrupled the number of customers, and added music and special events. We’ve also added a Winter Market (November and December) with our partners at Montgomery Presbyterian Church.
But the original mission of the Market remains the same: a community gathering place that features clean, fresh, local food; that supports local family farms, food artisans and crafters; and, that offers exposure for local businesses and non-profit organizations.
Someone said to us that the Farmers’ Market looks like a business, but it’s really about relationships, and bringing people together around clean, fresh, high-quality, local food.
Back in 2010, on Shelly Lane, we had no idea what the new Montgomery Farmers’ Market would become. But with our community behind us, we’ve become known as a place to slow down for a few minutes on a Saturday morning, a place to grab some coffee and meet your neighbors and friends, and somewhere to get the best local fruit and vegetables, great bread and baked goods, and delicious take-home foods, to make life in our community a little better.