Dearborn farmers market changes time and place to better serve customers

Though in its eleventh season, the Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market isn’t afraid to make a few fundamental changes to better serve its community. And those changes, both to the market’s time and location, come from the community itself.

The Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market kicked off the 2018 season at its new time and place on Friday, June 1. The market remains on Fridays throughout the summer, but rather than happening in the morning, the market now occurs from 2 to 7 p.m.

Jean Smith, events manager for Downtown Dearborn, says that the new time means more customers. Previous years had the market beginning every Friday morning, taking place in the heart of the workday.

Another major change for the market is its location, moving out from behind Bryant Library to the more high-profile West Village Commons.

"There are a lot of events that happen at the Commons. It only made sense to move the market there," Smith says. "There’s more foot traffic. The business owners there will benefit from the increased foot traffic from the market and vice versa."

In addition to hosting more than 30 vendors each week, market days include food trucks and live entertainment. Special events include an ice cream social on August 17 and monthly cooking demos.

The market is also a member of the Power of Produce (POP) Club, a program that encourages young people to make healthy food choices for themselves.

Add it all up, and the market is more than a market, but an event unto itself.

"Come and sit a spell," Smith says.

The Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market occurs every Friday through September, from 2 to 7 p.m. You can find it at West Village Commons in downtown Dearborn.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.