WASHINGTON – A new farmers market has arrived in the 16th Street Heights neighborhood of Northwest Washington, bringing fresh meat and produce, music and a new social center for local residents.
Located at 5500 Colorado Ave. NW, the 14th Street and Kennedy Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until November 21. Along with fresh produce, residents can expect pasture-raised grass-fed meats, artisan style baked goods and weekly musical performances.
The market is the brainchild of the Kennedy Street Development Association (KSDA) and the Community Alliance for Upper 14th Street, which worked for over a year to bring this project into fruition.
“The idea came from a survey the Kennedy Street Development Association did last year,” said Emily Cohen, a community organizer with the KSDA. “Having more access to fresh food was one of the items people expressed they wanted in the community.”
The community organizations enlisted the help of Jim Coleman, owner of Fresh Vista Farmers Markets.
“I provide market management services to the community,” Coleman said, “that means bringing farmers and vendors in, booking music and working with sponsors and community members.”
The 14th Street and Kennedy Farmers Market is also aimed to aid in community development. Emily Cohen of the KSDA said the data collected by her organization also showed that community members desired a greater connection to their neighbors.
“People really wanted not just fresh food, but a community gathering place,” Cohen said. “It’s really a way to bring vibrancy to the street.”
The market also aims to support local businesses. Only vendors who produce the products they sell are selected. This means customers will know exactly where their product is coming from, because it is harvested, produced or raised by the individual selling it, Coleman said.
“We are trying to bring the best of the community to the farmers market, so those great businesses get more exposure.” he said.
Currently, the farmers market has seven vendors. Coleman said he hopes that it will grow to at least 12 vendors in the future. The market has seen approximately 400 customers by the end of closing last week.
Cohen said she is proud of the strong and steady attendance and expects to see participation grow. She said she wants the resident’s excitement for the market to continue to be a positive weekly activity.
“We hope that it will become part of people weekly Saturday routines,” she said