Once first section of Mill Street ramp is open, market will relocate from The Promenade
The return of spring means that farmers market season will soon be in full swing. In Wayzata, residents who have become regulars of the weekly market during the past two years will find the market in a new location a few months after its initial opening in mid-May.
Once the city’s new Mill Street parking ramp is partially open – a goal expected to be met in mid-June – the farmers market will move from its location in The Promenade of Wayzata to the city’s lakeside parking lot near the Broadway Avenue docks. The move, which was approved by the city council April 4, falls in line with Wayzata’s goal to use the parking lot as a “pop-up park,” as referenced in the scope for the Lake Effect park project.
Wayzata City Manager Jeffrey Dahl said city staff members reached out to the market vendors to see if there was interest in the relocation.
“There was a lot of excitement for that proposed location given, primarily, its visibility. It’s in the center of the heart of the town,” Dahl said, adding that the city had received a positive response from area businesses along Lake Street.
This will mark the third location for the farmers market, which debuted in 2015 in the American Legion parking lot. The market moved to The Promenade last year, but faced hurdles like ongoing construction for The Hotel Landing, no visibility from Superior Boulevard or Lake Street and limited foot traffic due to nearby vacant retail spaces.
“Due to many reasons, primarily with visibility and construction, it wasn’t the best location, and attendance wasn’t what they had anticipated,” Dahl said.
Deb Hoen, manager for the Wayzata Farmers Market, said the lakeside location will provide the ideal atmosphere for the market.
“You need that component to make a successful farmers market. That’s why people go to markets, because they’re fun and festive. They’re an event, a destination. They’re a part of the community,” Hoen said. “We want to be right in there with all the foot traffic and that kind of atmosphere versus being tucked away.”
The market will be open every Thursday from May 18 to Oct. 26. Hours will be 1:30-5:30 p.m.
Approximately 25 vendors are expected at the market this year, where shoppers will find a selection of produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods and specialty foods like jams, salsas and honey. Nonfood vendors will include handmade jewelry, artisan candles, lotions and creams.
The core idea behind the farmers market concept is to offer fresh, local goods. Local farmers benefit from this model because it cuts out the middleman and selling to a wholesaler or large grocery company. Selling directly to consumers also means less transportation, less need for refrigeration and an overall decrease in the energy needed to bring produce from the farm to the dinner plate.
Before Hoen organized Wayzata’s first farmers market, she worked for 21 years with the Excelsior Farmers Market and has also provided market management services in her hometown of Delano. Hoen came to Wayzata in late 2014 with the idea to establish a Thursday farmers market after Excelsior decided to move its market to Tuesdays.
“Over the last two years, we’ve been working on finding the right fit for the farmers market, and we received such a warm welcome from everybody: The community, the chamber, the city,” Hoen said. “I think it’s finally falling into place, and this is going to be a place that we can call home for the Wayzata Farmers Market.”
For more information on the market, visit wayzatafarmersmarket.com.
Contact Jason Jenkins at [email protected]