Baskets of apples at a farmers' market

A New Way Forward for the Cleveland Park Farmers Market

District Bridges is excited to announce the transfer of the Cleveland Park Farmers Market (CPFM) to FreshFarm Markets beginning with the 2023 season. 

Established in 2016, CPFM was originally established as a program of the Cleveland Park Business Association, and operations were transferred to District Bridges when that organization dissolved in 2020 after the successful launch of the Cleveland Park Main Street. Now, the market is a neighborhood staple, providing fresh produce, meats, and prepared foods on a weekly basis, as well as a compost drop off. CPFM also incubated small businesses and offered a low-cost way to test a new idea and/or customer base. The most notable success is Cracked Eggery who opened in a permanent location in Cleveland Park in 2021, after several seasons as a market vendor. 

When long-time market manager, Mary Ellen Koontz, announced she needed to take a step back after the 2022 season, District Bridges began looking at other options for running the market. FreshFarm immediately came to mind because of the strong organizational partnership already in place. 

District Bridges and FreshFarm have actively partnered together in the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza for the past 5 years. They recently expanded their partnership through DIstrict Bridges’ ecosystem development work and funding from a DPR grant, supporting the Columbia Heights Farmers Market in hosting live music, incorporating programming into Columbia Heights Day, and more. “Reaching out to FreshFarm was a no-brainer,” says Brianne Dornbush, Executive Director of District Bridges. “Their commitment to fostering accessibility and sustainability perfectly aligns with what we are trying to do. In fact, both District Bridges’ vision and FreshFarm’s mission include the words “Resilient” and “Equitable” – can’t be more aligned than that!”

The last few months have been spent ensuring that the transfer of the CPFM from District Bridges to FreshFarm is as seamless as possible, including outreach to vendors so that beloved neighborhood favorites are back for 2023. “We’re excited that the farmers market will continue to be a beloved gathering place each Saturday morning for people and pooches as well as activate public space, especially as we anticipate the end of construction,” says Cassandra Hetherington, District Bridges’ Cleveland Park Main Street Director.  

More details about the launch of the 2023 season will come from FreshFarm in April. Stay up to date by visiting their website: www.freshfarm.org

 

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