Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market Moves to City Plaza

Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market Moves to City Plaza

March, 03, 2010, by Stacey

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Beginning on Wednesday, April 28th, the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market will take up residence at City Plaza, on the 400 block of Fayetteville St., in downtown Raleigh. Formerly located in Moore Square, the move to City Plaza will be accompanied by a complete revamping of the market, with not only a new location, but a new name and a new website to boot.

The opening season of the market will run for 27 weeks, through the end of October. Vendors at the market will not be limited to local farmers, but will also include ranchers, fisherman, nurserymen, bakers, cheese makers, and specialty foods producers. All of the products sold at the market will be locally grown or crafted in North Carolina.

The new location will put the Downtown Farmers Market in the heart of the city, and easily accessible via the R-line. According to their website, the inaugural season also boasts food festivals, chef demonstrations, tastings, and weekly entertainment. The market will also feature a community booth, hosting a local non-profit to encourage education about sustainability, gardening, and agriculture. Hallie Mittleman, the Director of Sustainability and Planning for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, says that the new location will dramatically increase the foot traffic and will be better for our local farmers.

The market will be open on Wednesdays, from 10am-2pm. Opening day festivities include an official inauguration by Mayor Charles Meeker, chef demonstration by Ed Mitchell, and bluegrass music by band Old Habits.  The celebration will officially begin when Mayor Meeker rings the market’s opening bell—the farmers markets’ version of a ribbon cutting. More information about the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market and its upcoming events may be obtained at their website.


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  • RaleighMAC
    03/04 09:23 PM

    wow! this is the perfect location for a farmer’s market!!! Love it love it!!! It seems that City Plaza is really starting to take off.

  • Micah
    03/05 04:31 AM

    I guess this will make the market more accessible to the folks who work in the many office around there, as well as folks staying at the hotels?  I still think moving the market from Moore Square, with trees and shade and grass, to a concreted over street area with a slightly odd fake feeling is an odd choice.

  • RaleighMAC
    03/05 04:36 AM

    Moore Sq is going to be redone, so perhaps that’s part of the decision to move the FM… Coming from Los Angeles, where many a farmer’s market took place on asphalt, a farmer’s market on City Plaza is a really great idea… Very urban - think the Green Market in NYC’s Union Square. Love it, love it! Wait… I already said that..

  • trey
    03/05 11:27 AM

    I haven’t been to the downtown farmer’s market in close to a year, but I’m pretty certain my visits were on the weekend.  Their new website lists opening hours of 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Wednesdays only.  Only open on Wednesdays for 4 hours??  Have these incredibly short hours of operation been going on at their Moore Square location?  What gives?

  • chad
    03/05 11:31 AM

    smart move.

    the hours are still ridiculous though.

  • jeff
    03/05 12:07 PM

    I emailed the Farmer’s Market directly to complain about the hours, and that director they mentioned (Hallie Mittleman) gave me a very nice reply.  She also mentioned they are planning a second phase with Saturday hours as well.  Not sure when that will be implemented, though.  I think the idea is to have something for all the workers during the week, and something for all the weekend visitors on Saturday.

  • betty
    03/05 12:14 PM

    I’m curious how many people are able to take advantage of these ridiculous hours.

  • Jeff
    03/05 12:17 PM

    oh, and one more thing:
    apparently these hours are a holdover from the Moore Square one, so theyre keeping them to sort of get the same crowd to continue to come.  and then they can build on that.

  • gd
    03/05 12:32 PM

    i will be taking advantage of this for sure.

  • Crystal
    03/05 12:44 PM

    People working or living downtown take advantage of the Farmer’s Market! Basically workers can go shopping on their lunch hour. And it has always been on Wednesdays in Moore Square Park before this move. I’d prefer the location in the park, but the city plaza is closer to where I work.

    North Hills also has a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays spring through fall.

    I take advantage of both. Of course it helps if you have a refrigerator at work to put all your purchases in.

  • miamiblue
    03/05 12:46 PM

    As a downtown resident who doesn’t work downtown, I have never (and will not have) an opportunity to take advanatage of the Downtown Farmers Market on Wednesday afternoons. It just won’t happen. I really hope they will start having weekend hours.

    I’ve ridden my bicycle to the State Farmers Market on the weekends, but it is a decent hilly ride and takes enough time that I don’t do it on a regular basis. I would absolutely be going to the market in Moore Square or City Plaza (either location) just about every week if it were held on the weekends. I’m sure there are plenty of other downtown residents who would do the same.

  • jorge
    03/05 04:14 PM

    for everyone who wants weekend hours, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and let her know.  with enough interest, perhaps they will implement Phase 2 sooner rather than later.

  • SuperDave
    03/05 05:12 PM

    Wednesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m? Seriously?

    Why bother? I would love to go to the farmer’s market and really don’t care to go down to the state market area off on it’s own little island. But, there is no way that I will ever make it in the middle of the day in the middle of the work week.

  • NegativeNancy
    03/05 05:56 PM

    Free wings after midnight? Seriously? I mean why bother? I would love to get free wings and hang out with a bunch of drunks but there’s no way I’ll ever go to Woody’s Tavern in the middle of the night. Oh, there’s others who might like this? Well, what do I care?

  • SuperDave
    03/05 06:25 PM

    As Jeff pointed out above (and I just learned before seeing his comment) the hours are just an extension of the old Moore Square market hours. If it is successful, then they plan to begin a weekend market as part of the their Phase 2 plan.

  • RaleighMAC
    03/06 10:09 PM

    a traditional urban farmer’s market generally allows access for local residents, and generally has such hours. Once people realize it’s there, you’d be surprised by the traffic - it’s amazing! The hours may seem ridiculous, but they’re really not. I’ve been to such farmer’s markets in LA, NYC and SF, and they all hold similar hours. That’s just, apparently, the way farmer’s markets work. And they really do work. So stop bit*hing about the hours, and just go there, if you can! :) From my experience, plenty of Raleigh folk do NOT hold M-F, 9-5 hours, so this shouldn’t be an issue… Seriously, people… not everyone can be satisfied… But I’m *really* happy this market is happening!

  • smitty
    03/07 01:03 AM

    Or you can just go to the state farmers market that is only 2 miles away.  This is another cutesy useless token program that gives a few people a warm fuzzy and plays on their moral vanity.

  • arthurb3
    03/08 11:11 AM

    The NC Farmer’s Market is still open so if you are unable to make this one you can always go out to the regular one any day! Like smitty states!

  • Kimberly
    03/08 01:29 PM

    NYC’s Union Square Farmer’s Market, at which some of the best chefs in the world shop, is on asphalt. Also, it has limited hours. Yet it’s packed full of people and gorgeous produce and flowers when it’s open. Raleigh needs to embrace this change. I went to the Moore Square market once and was so depressed by its sad 5 little booths and 7 customers that I never went back.

  • James
    03/12 11:24 AM


    Raleigh is not and never will be NYC.  When people say raleigh is this or that, they are not talking about the city, the physical structure.  The people of raleigh are not the progressive, full of life, want a city kind of individuals you would meet in a vibrant city, nor the ones the marketing brochures would leave you to believe.  The downtown only revolves around bars and work—that’s it.  With a high unemployment rate, sprawl, and aversion to coming downtown, supporting a downtown farmer’s market is LOW on the list.

  • RaleighMAC
    03/12 09:16 PM

    James, please speak for yourself…

    No one is saying that Raleigh with ever be NYC. But who are you to say what you have said??!

    When *I* talk about Raleigh, I *AM* very MUCH talking about the city and the physical structure.

    I’m from Los Angeles, and moved here almost two years ago, and I LOVE talking about how I live ITB: “Inside The Beltline.” Yeah, I’m a CITY whore, and I love it. I lived in Los Angeles for 33 years, and decided a change was needed… Raleigh, here I come!

    I have found many people of Raleigh to be progressive and full of life… And I hardly believe that downtown only revolves around bars and work (but, hello, if this was true, that’s not bad! Most downtowns ONLY evolve around WORK).

    I live in a very vibrant, progressive neighborhood, with people who LOVE living here…

    Perhaps, James… perhaps you live in North Raleigh, and just don’t understand… (no offense, of course, to those in North Raleigh! :) )

  • RaleighMAC
    03/12 09:18 PM

    oops! Sorry… make that “no one is saying that Raleigh *WILL* ever be NYC… not *with* :)

  • Joe
    03/17 04:08 PM

    Sorry Mac,

    Being from Beantown, have to agree with James on this one.  Many a night I have been at an event downtown and looked around and everyone looked like me (I am white btw).  This city is still centered around race, religion and good old boy networks.  When you have Southerners who didn’t hop on the integration/sexual orientation/progressive bus and Northerners who move down here to get away from “Progess”, you have Raleigh.  Look in your mirror, how many of your relationships are with diverse people?  Mine certainly are not and I think I should make an effort to change that.  It’s just harder to do here.

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