After only its second week, the Village Market
in Slavic Village, hosted by Slavic Village Development
(SVD) is already popular as a source for freshly-grown local produce, hand-made goods and a place to mingle with neighbors.
The market, which opened on June 13, is held each Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. through August 29 in Sonny Day Development
’s outdoor space at 5106 Fleet Ave. It is the new and improved version of the former Broadway Famers’ Market, which closed in 2014 after struggling to attract vendors and shoppers.
In 2015, market manager Tiffany Andreoli began developing the concept with a focus on three things: making fresh produce easily available to residents, educating people on the importance of healthy eating and giving local businesses a place to sell their wares and grow their businesses.
“When they [SVD] approached me, I loved the idea because my husband and I live in this neighborhood,” Andreoli says. “I wanted to have vendors from the neighborhood and wanted to get attendance higher [than the Broadway Market].”
So far, she has succeeded. More than 150 people came out on opening day. And while attendance dropped a bit this past Monday, Andreoli attributes the Cavs’ NBA Finals victory the night before to a light turnout. “We still did some really good sales,” she says. “A few of our vendors sold out.”
A total of 18 vendors have signed up for the Village Market, although Andreoli says she expects an average of 14 vendors each week. “Half of the vendors are from the neighborhood,” she boasts. “We feel it’s very successful.”
The market participates in the EBT
and Cleveland – Cuyahoga County Food Coalition
Food Perks programs. Andreoli says she hopes the programs will encourage residents to come to the Village Market.
“This is a low-income neighborhood and it’s important to make it welcoming,” she says. “Many residents didn’t feel as welcome at higher-income neighborhood markets.”
In addition to locally-grown produce, the Village Market is also deeming itself a “makers market,” featuring local craftspeople. “The Slavic Village neighborhood has historically been a maker community of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers,” Andreoli explains. “Fleet Avenue is all mom and pop businesses.”
Vendors include Melissa Khoury and Penny Barend of Saucisson
, which is in the midst of moving their butcher shop to the neighborhood, clothing designer Tourmaline Designs
and Blue Lake Botanicals. Christy’s Custom Cakes
owner Christy Barley sells her confections while her sons sell snow cones.
Produce vendors include the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland Farm
, Community Greenhouse Partners
and the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Green Corps
The market has a variety of events planned throughout the summer. Next week’s market will have a cooking demonstration and MetroHealth
will have a booth for health screenings and information. Monday, July 11, will be ArcelorMittal
Day, which will feature live music and other entertainment.
MetroHealth and ArcelorMittal, along with Citizens Bank
, helped fund the Village Market.
After the market closes for the season in August, Andreoli says the market plans to host small business training classes through the winter months.
The Village Market is still accepting vendor applications
for select dates.