If you are in the Grand Rapids area and you are looking for affordable, top quality local produce then you should visit one of the farmers markets.
There are lots of farmers markets in the area, but which ones have the best selection of vendors? We have put together this list to help you decide which ones to visit.
1. Fulton Street Market
The Fulton Street Market was established in 1992 as a place to celebrate food, farming and artistry in the local community of Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Between November and April it is open every Saturday from 10 am until 1pm.
There are over 100 spots for outdoor vendors and some indoor spots as well, and it is a very busy and popular market.
The market is a non-profit organization and continues to thrive due to the loyalty and support of the vendors and the customers.
At Fulton Street Market you can get hold of an amazing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, locally raised meat and top quality dairy products, artisan products and hand-crafted specialty foods.
Whether you fancy a cake or a filled donut, there are plenty of sweet treats to tempt you. There are also different types of products on offer such as jewelry, candles and home decor.
2. The Happy Apple Farm Market
The Happy Apple Farm Market is a small market run by local farmer, Leonard Klein. Leonard sells his seasonal produce Monday through to Saturday from 10am until 6pm. You can find his market at 2189 Walker Avenue North West.
He is known for his exceptionally sweet sweetcorn, but he also has a lot of other produce on offer.
Depending on the season you can get pumpkins, tomatoes, apples, cherries, plums, onions, zucchini, potatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, beans, raspberries, melons, yams and more. Sometimes you can even pick up a jar of homemade jam, or a freshly made pie.
3. Rakowski Family Farm Market
The Rakowski Family Farm Market is an indoor market shop. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9 am until 5pm (6pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays).
The shop sells produce from the Rakowski Farm, a local family run farm that specializes in grass fed meats and free range eggs. The store is located at 953 Fulton Street East.
You can get beef, lamb, pork and even special Thanksgiving turkeys. But that’s not all that’s on offer. They also sell fresh, seasonal produce like lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, strawberries, plums, asparagus and pumpkins.
They make their own cider and serve it hot, perfect alongside one of their pulled pork sandwiches. There are limited edition products available from local makers, such as fresh quiches or freshly pressed juices.
If you want all of the selection of a traditional farmers market but in a convenient, indoor location then this shop is perfect.
You are still supporting local businesses and the local economy, but you can pop by most days of the week to shop for your groceries.
4. Kentwood Farmers Market
Kentwood farmers market is a seasonal market open from June through to September. It runs on Thursdays from 4:30 pm until 7:30pm at 4900 Breton Road South East (the parking lot behind Kentwood City Hall).
There are over 20 different vendors and the market gets an average of over 500 visitors every week. There is also live music which creates a fun atmosphere and provides entertainment.
There are themed market days, such as a dog friendly day, which attracts a crowd.
The Kentwood Farmers market is an important part of the local community and is a great place to gather and support each other.
You will find vendors selling specialty breads and other baked goods, cheeses, coffees, honey, nuts, cakes, meats, eggs, and seasonal produce like fruit, vegetables, microgreens and mushrooms.
You can also get freshly cut flowers, candles and soaps. This market has a very fun atmosphere with a great community spirit.
5. Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Market
The Dunneback Farm has been in the same family for a century. It began as 170 acres of farmland, growing peaches and corn and rearing a herd of dairy cows.
Now, 100 years later, it is not just a farm – it is also a fresh produce market, a gift shop, a bakery, a kitchen and a taproom.
There are events and live music, and they offer educational school tours to teach students about agriculture.
The market is open Wednesdays 11am until 9pm, Thursdays 11am until 8pm, Fridays 9am until 3pm, and Saturdays 9am until 9pm. You can find it on 3025 6 Mile Road.
You can choose from a range of seasonal produce, grown on the farm and freshly picked. They also offer ‘U-Pick’ days where you can pick your own produce.
The kitchen is also open at the same time, but closes 30 minutes before the market. They offer a delicious menu of hot foods such as pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, nachos, grilled cheese, hot dogs, burgers and more.
You can also visit the taproom and sample some of the craft beer, like the honeycrisp pale ale or the vanilla bourbon ale.
In the gift shop you can find a range of items from clothing to home decor to kitchenware. You can also get locally made syrups, salsas, honeys, jams and more.
6. The Fresh Market
The Fresh Market takes place at United Methodist community House at 900 South Division Avenue.
It is open Tuesdays between 11am and 5pm, Wednesdays between 11am and 5pm, Thursdays between 11am and 7pm, and Fridays between 9am and 5pm.
The market is open to the public and offers food priced on a sliding scale to make sure that is affordable for everyone.
The food sold at The Fresh Market is locally grown produce and health foods, which supports local businesses. You will find seasonal vegetables, eggs, fruit, honey and much more.
There is another Fresh Market which is part of the same programme. It can be found at ‘The Other Way’ on 706 Fulton Street West and is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 9am and 4pm.
It is also open every 1st and 3rd Saturday between 10am and 2pm.
7. Grand Rapids Downtown Market
The Grand Rapids Downtown market is more than just a farmers market. The spacious indoor market features local grocers, butchers and fishmongers along with other vendors that sell cheeses, baked goods, specialty drinks, and artisan foods.
There are also dining options including BBQ, sushi, tacos, bagels, seafood, burgers, fried chicken and even Kurdish cuisine.
The downtown market is the perfect place for a foodie day out, with plenty of fresh produce and tasty treats to excite your senses. They also hold events, like cooking classes, cooking demonstrations, and even vintage markets.
They also have the Incubator Kitchen which is an exclusive space to support start-ups and provide technical advice and guidance to new businesses.
8. South East Market
The South East Market was set up to improve accessibility to healthy food and to make it more affordable whilst supporting the community and promoting sustainable practices.
The majority of products in the market are sourced from local businesses that are run by black, brown, and indigenous women.
The goal is to support the groups that have experienced systemic oppression, to spread the wealth and success more evenly throughout the community.
The market is also passionate about helping the less fortunate members of the local community, with a pay it forward scheme in place. This makes it easier for everyone to eat healthily, even if they are experiencing financial hardship.
Some of the products available from this market include meat and poultry that has been locally raised using sustainable practices, eggs and milk from local farmers, and plenty of seasonal, locally grown fresh produce.
You can find this indoor market shop at 1220 Kalamazoo Avenue South East. It is open Monday to Friday 11am until 7pm, and Saturdays 10am until 7pm.
9. Speyer’s Farm Market
Speyer’s Farm Market is a family run business that has been in operation for around 100 years. There is a greenhouse that is open from May through to October selling a variety of plants including vegetables, annuals and perennials.
Walking through the greenhouse is a beautiful experience, as there are so many different varieties of flowering plants.
In early July the farm market opens, which runs until just before Christmas. There is an amazing range of seasonal produce including sprouts, apples, pumpkins, carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, pears, tomatoes, corn, beans, peaches and blueberries.
You can also get freshly baked breads, honey, and cider.
Whether you are visiting the greenhouse of the farm shop, keep and eye out for the resident cats! They are sleepy and snuggly and are very friendly to visitors.
You can find Speyer’s Farm at 6484 Eastern Avenue South East. opening hours vary depending on the season, but it tends to be between 12pm and 6pm from Monday through to Saturday.
These farmers markets are an excellent place to shop for locally grown produce. It is also a great way to support the local community and boost small businesses.
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