The Coit Road Farmers’ Market has been an anchor on Cleveland’s east side since 1932, with a mission of providing access to affordable, locally grown farm fresh products to the residents of Greater Cleveland. The non-profit Market is operated by volunteers supported by customers, farmers, sponsors and fund raising events.
Committed to growing the legacy of Cleveland’s oldest farmers’ market, The Coit Road Farmers’ Market has long been a leader in engaging the community in local-food options. Situated at the heart of one of Cleveland’s most challenged areas, the Market offers an oasis of green, fresh and nutritious foods, from produce to baked goods, local cheeses to free-range meats. More than 20 vendors serve thousands of customers year-round – providing one of the region’s few winter markets and a greatly expanded produce offering during the summer growing season. Customers can meet the grower or preparer and know the source of the food and how it is processed.
Serving the Community
The surrounding communities of Cleveland and East Cleveland get tremendous direct benefit from The Coit Road Farmers’ Market continuing presence and commitment.
The market is much more than vendor stands. It serves the community with space for EC Grows Community Garden, free space for urban farmers, cooking classes, a small-business incubator, an arts venue, and a convening place. Small businesses such as High Ho Farms, Gloria’s Gardens and Buckeye Mushroom Farm use the market as the launch pad for growing their food-based businesses.
The Market works with area non-profit organizations, food pantries, local and regional government, health care suppliers and community organizations to offer relevant programming. Programs such as WIC coupons, Produce Prescription, senior coupons and EBT Ohio Direction card access help those in the community needing assistance. The Double Value Produce Perks program offers Ohio Direction Card holders an additional $10 to spend for fruits and vegetables for $10 withdrawn per visit to the Coit Rd Farmers’ Market.
Groups as diverse as Cleveland Critical Mass’ bicycle riders, Bridges of Hope youth collaborative and Case Western Reserve University make The Coit Rd Farmers’ Market a destination for programming. Artists perform weekly and organize activities for children and families. Local chefs teach both practical and specialized cooking skills. They help to preserve traditions of food preparation and techniques that encourage healthy eating with limited new skills.
Roots of the Market date from World War I when a group of farmers in the Greater Cleveland area met and began to sell their produce from the back of their trucks in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood. In 1932, the group formed a cooperative and purchased the existing property to establish a permanent market. In 2001, The East Cleveland Farmers Market Preservation Society (ECFM) was formed as a 501 c (3) non-profit organization to preserve the Market and continue its operation. For a more detailed history going back to the founding in 1917, acquiring the present property in 1932, and conversion to a non-profit in 2001, click here to go to History.html. http://coitmarket.org/history.html