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Downtown Farmers' Market Introduces Online Marketplace

June 5, 2020

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (June 5, 2020) – The Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health — Des Moines is announcing the launch of the Downtown Farmers’ Marketplace Online to further connect vendors with customers. The Online Marketplace allows customers to order from vendors virtually, supporting both the vendors who rely on The Market for income and residents who rely on vendors for access to fresh, locally grown food. Vendors can coordinate a pick-up time and location or delivery options with customers through the program.

Customers can find a link to the platform on the Downtown Farmers’ Market website, as well as instructions on how to use the platform. After accessing the platform, customers will be prompted to sign up for an account. Once they are signed up, they can browse by product or by vendor. Details on pick-up or delivery times and locations will be determined at checkout, or customers can view the options vendors offer by clicking on their profile.

So far, 112 vendors have joined the platform. More vendors are expected to join in coming weeks, and vendors will continue to add products to reflect what produce is in season.

“We are excited to get the Online Marketplace up and running in order to help as many vendors as quickly as possible during this time when we are unable to host an in-person Market each Saturday morning,” said Kelly Foss, Director of the Downtown Farmers’ Market. “What you see right now is just the beginning — more vendors will be added and we will continue to build this platform and tweak it as necessary to ensure the best experience for customers and vendors. We think it is critical to help people find access to fresh, locally-grown food, and this provides a strong option during this interim period when we are not hosting a physical market.”

“We are excited to be able to reconnect with our customers during this tough time,” said Lee Sayaxang with Mao’s Homemade Eggroll and Garden, which is currently growing spring produce such as spinach, salad mix, radishes and green onions and also has their popular eggrolls, crab rangoon, and fried rice available. “The Online Marketplace gives us the ability to interact with the people we spend our Saturday mornings with again and we truly appreciate that.”

Farmers participating in Lutheran Services of Iowa’s Global Greens program, an incubator program that assists former refugee farmers in starting small fruit and vegetable businesses, will have their produce available for pick-up to those who order online on Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. – Noon. Bizimana Charles of Eating Well Farms is a participating grower and graduate of the Global Greens Program. He will sell produce, currently available arugula, chard, cilantro, collard greens and kale, and is excited to use the Online Marketplace platform to connect with customers who can order throughout the week and pick up their produce in person on Saturdays.

“This is my fourth year of being a Downtown Farmers’ Market vendor, and it has become an important part of my business,” said Charles. “I am excited to be able to offer my produce to you online for pick-up Saturday mornings at the Lutheran Services in Iowa office.”

“The Downtown Farmers’ Market has become an important source of income for farmers like Bizimana Charles of Eating Well Farm who have participated in and graduated from the Global Greens training program,” said Daniel Bowser, Food Hub and Markets Supervisor with the Global Greens program. “We are thrilled that The Market has been able to pivot and offer this opportunity to its vendors.”

Find a link to the Online Marketplace on the Downtown Farmers’ Market website.

About the Downtown Farmers’ Market

The Downtown Farmers’ Market is presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Find more information at desmoinesfarmersmarket.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/downtownfarmersmarket and on Twitter and Instagram at @DTFarmersMarket.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The?Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.