Fondy Food Center will kick off its first pop-up farmers market at Schlitz Park on Thursday, June 25.
Each week during the season, produce and related goods will be available from a rotating list of three to four local farmers from Fondy’s longstanding Fond du Lac Avenue market. Shoppers will have the ability to pay with cash, debit or credit cards. Fondy is also a bit of an expert in serving shoppers with lower incomes (they collect over two-thirds of the food stamps spent at farmer's markets around the state); so food stamps will also be accepted at the Schlitz Park market.
The decision to launch its first market at Schlitz Park stems from an updated Fondy Food Center strategic plan that focuses on expanding the nonprofit’s impact in the broader Milwaukee community.
"The Fondy Farmers Market has been a true intersection of food and community, health and heritage, and cultural diversity," said Young Kim, Fondy’s executive director.
"Against a backdrop of greenspace and historic architecture, the new Schlitz Park market adds another gathering place where shoppers can meet the farmers that have grown their produce and tenants can meet each other."
According to Kim, the market also provides an additional revenue stream for small farmers (farming on less than 10 acres), promoting sustainability of their businesses and assisting them in growing.
Like Schlitz Park, the origin of the Fondy Farmers Market is rich in history starting in 1917 when the now defunct Milwaukee Chair Co. donated a parcel of land to the City of Milwaukee for a new green market. The company's primary motivation then was to give employees an opportunity to buy fresh produce directly from local farmers. The market eventually expanded and was moved to its current location with the Fondy Food Center taking over management in 2001.
The weekly Schlitz Park market will run Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on North 2nd Street, in front of Brewhouse Square through the end of October.