Growing roots: Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market returns to Glenville, in a new home and location

For 10 years, Famicos Foundation has operated the Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market at East 105th Street and Ashbury Avenue in the Glenville neighborhood—offering an empty lot with tents for food and craft vendors to sell their goods and provide the neighborhood with fresh produce.

After closing for two years, in part because of COVID-19, the Gateway 105 Famers’ Market is now open again—this time in a new, enclosed location just north of Ashbury Avenue at 1322 E. 105th St—selling locally-grown produce and crafts, as well as hosting live music and activities.

“We started back up in March,” says Erica Burnett, Famicos director of community building and engagement. “We were away for two years because of COVID and construction.” During that same time period, however, Burnett says Famicos was able to secure state funding to build a new 1,400-square-foot facility.

The neighborhood has changed over the last two years, with a number of new homes and construction, so we’re here to re-introduce ourselves to our customers,” she says. “It’s not a large building, but it’s open-air design with a shared kitchen, demo area, and bathrooms. We did all of these things outside [before], so this is a lot better. And it’s nice to have electricity,”

One thing that hasn’t changed, says Burnett, is all of the vendors are local residents. And because the new market is enclosed—with sliding windows that can be kept open in warm weather and closed in chilly weather—it is now open from March through December. The old lot was only open June through October.

Burnett reports that word of the new location is slowly getting out around town. “It’s been a little bit of a struggle getting customers, but on Mother’s Day weekend we had a really nice turnout,” she says. “One of the biggest challenges is the food was only provided on a seasonal basis.”

Now, the market not only sells fresh local produce, it also has vendors selling baked goods, plants, and crafts. Burnett says the market has about 10 vendors. “All vendors right now grow [their produce] right here in the neighborhood,” Burnett says. “It’s very local. [Glenville] was a food desert when we came in, but not any more because a grocery store was put in place (New Eastside Market). But we still continue to face a lack of knowledge of food that is grown here. People don’t know what to do with eggplant or kohlrabi.”

Burnett adds that customers can use their SNAP cards the Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market—and double their money allowance for fruits and vegetables.

Chef Shirelle Boyd can be found regularly at the market, cooking up some healthy and delicious food, and activities for children are often available. Literacy for Youth, for instance has been hosting weekend reading programs at the market.

While the North Union Farmers Market and Coit Road Farmers Market are nearby, Burnett says Gateway 105 fits in nicely between the two other locations. As the market grows she says they are working on attracting a younger crowd and she says Case Western Reserve University students have started to come to the market regularly.

The Gateway 105 Farmers’ Market, 1322 E. 105th Street, is open Fridays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Karin Connelly Rice
Karin Connelly Rice

About the Author: Karin Connelly Rice

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.