A Revived Local Pride at Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market

Harrisburg’s beloved market is in the midst of a renaissance. A renewed focus on local food, vendor development, facilities improvements and community involvement have increased foot traffic in the historic market houses and ignited a revived local pride in the market. Now the Broad Street Market is looking for a few volunteer “ambassadors” to share their enthusiasm with the crowds. The volunteers will welcome guests, post information about market events in the community, and provide other basic customer services. They may even lend a hand with a paint brush or potting trowel.

What are these envoys promoting? Come to the Market and they will show you!

Local Food

The Broad Street Market launched Harrisburg’s premier producer-only outdoor farmers’ market ‘Farmers at Broad (FAB) in July of 2014. FAB featured local farmers from within a fifty mile radius of the City of Harrisburg. The market’s manager, Ashlee O. Dugan said, “Producer-only markets are the best way for local foods to find their way into our homes. At these markets you can buy directly from the individuals responsible for growing your fruits and vegetables – from seed to vine. The food is healthier because its time on the vine was maximized which increases vitamin development and naturally enhances the flavor of the food.”

The 2015 season of FAB will begin on Saturday, May 16, and recur every Saturday through October 17, 2015. Market guests can expect a solid outdoor market offering fruits and vegetables, bread, dairy products, ethically raised meats and other creative wares from local sources. Every third Saturday will be highlighted with festival themed events like the Peach Jam: A Food Revolution and Bluegrass in the Burg which were well-received in 2014. The kick-off event scheduled for Saturday, May 16, will be The 50 Mile Festival: A celebration of all things local’ which will feature local wines, food, art, community groups and music.

Vendor Development

New vendors have also been secured inside of the Brick Building of the market. JB Kelly Seafood Connection and Elementary Coffee Co. opened in November of 2014. Soul Burrito will hold its high anticipated grand opening on March 5, 2015.

Elementary Coffee Co. is a new and budding business that is owned and operated by Andrea Grove. Grove is an experienced roaster with roots in St. Thomas Roasters of Linglestown. “We are thrilled to welcome this new business to the market family,” says Market Manager Ashlee O. Dugan. “ I’ve been very impressed with Elementary Coffee Co.’s owner and staff. They are the type of entrepreneurial endeavor that has the potential to attract a strong customer base and to become a pillar within the Broad Street Market.”

JB Kelly Seafood Connection is a well established business that currently vends in 18 farmers markets in the region. JB Kelly’s proprietor, John B. Kelly, travels to Maine on a regular basis to procure a variety of seafood products. The company prides itself in being sustainable and having a strong focus on freshness. Kelly was an educator before starting this company and has a knack of offering interesting and helpful information to customers.

Broad Street Market continues to seek new businesses like a bakery, a juice bar and other creative gourmet food businesses.

Physical Improvements

The 150-year old buildings have undergone some exterior renovations of the doors and windows. A local historic conservation and restoration firm, Johnson & Griffiths Studio (J&G) was hired by the Broad Street Market Corporation to complete this project. The paint colors for the doors and windows was chosen based upon microscopic analysis of paint chips from the market’s windows, which allowed J&G to determine the original color scheme, dating back to the mid-1800s.

Community Involvement

The market has welcomed a host of nonprofit and community organizations to display information and to have a presence on the market premises. Currently, the emphasis is on building relationships with health care providers and schools. The Broad Street Market Corporation hopes that the market will serve as a community hub and community gathering place.

The events calendar includes educational opportunities and features local music and art. The market is constantly accepting proposals from community groups, artists, musicians and businesses.

Interested potential ‘Market Ambassadors’ should visit the info table located in the Brick Building (beside Lil’s Pretzels) to obtain and submit an application.