Pearl Market returned to the Pearl and Lynn alleys on May 15 for another summer offering a rich mix of locally grown produce, hand-crafted merchandise and delectable food. The Market will be open each Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. through October.
Opening Day featured an exciting announcement from City Council Member Michelle Mills that the department of Public Safety is working on a new Community Market Permit that will allow Pearl Market to return to the sidewalks along Broad and Gay streets. Having vendors located outside of the alleys helped improve visibility and excitement about the Market.
Again this year, the Market accepts credit cards and the Ohio Direction Card (SNAP/EBT/formerly Food Stamps). Customers simply swipe their cards at the Pearl Market Tent in exchange for tokens that can be used with vendors throughout the Market. This is a very popular program, and Capital Crossroads expects an increase in Ohio Direction Card usage thanks in part of a USDA FMPP Grant that will allow the program to be advertised more broadly.
But no matter where the vendors are displaying their wares or how the shoppers choose to pay for their goodies, one of the most exciting parts of the Market is watching the vendors in action. Each year, vendors old and new converge on the Market to follow a passion. Some are farmers thrilled to share the bounty of their harvest. Some are artisans exploring making their art a business. Some are established businesses testing the downtown market. And all are vital to the vibrancy and success of Pearl Market.
“It is always exciting to watch the vendors engage with their customers in the Market,” said Adam Schroeder, Market Manager. “Robert and Jean Mauger are new to the Market this year, selling delicious doughnuts. They are retired and thought that this would be a fun way to stay active in the community. It is wonderful to witness so many people following a dream.”