Norcross Community Market opens
Opening day celebration included farm fresh produce, wine and local craft beer, live entertainment, children’s activities and more
By Rachel Jeffers
Norcross – Marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony, the Norcross Community Market began bringing farm fresh produce and much more to the greater Norcross area on June 4.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the opening day celebration featured farm fresh produce, wine and local craft beer, live entertainment, children’s activities and more. The Norcross Community Market hosted by Sustainable Norcross will be held at Webb Park, 5 College St. every Saturday from June 4 – August 13 (excluding July 2nd) from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Admission to the farmers market is free and EBT/SNAP is accepted and doubled through Wholesome Wave Georgia.
Sustainable Norcross, with the support of the City of Norcross and the Norcross Downtown Development Authority, is partnering with the Georgia Farmers Market Association in the creation of the farmers market that is shaping up to serve as a best practice model for markets across the state. The Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) is an association of farmers markets, producers and other good food movement advocates committed to improving access to healthy foods in Georgia.
“Essentially, our goal is to make the Norcross Community Market a huge success. Our experience and research have given us a good understanding of the key components of a sustainable farmers market. Our plan incorporates many of those practices here in Norcross,” said GFMA’s Executive Director Sagdrina Jalal.
The opening day of the Norcross Community Market featured a variety of farm fresh produce and products, prepared food and beverages including wine and local craft beer. Children’s activities were provided by Norcross First United Methodist Church and music by local favorites Jim Fox and John Outler, the duo known as “Grey Matter.” Market attendees were treated to Chef Nona Johnson of Sizzling Peach cooking up morsels from the market. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee of Sustainable Norcross was on hand offering educational and safety information as well. Worn US flags were collected for recycling by Advanced Disposal at the Sustainable Norcross tent. In addition, EBT/SNAP will be doubled by Wholesome Wave Georgia.
Each market day throughout the season will feature entertainment and include activities geared for singles, couples and families. In addition, other local nonprofits will have an opportunity to connect with their community. The food will be fresh and the experience invaluable.
By working together, GFMA and Sustainable Norcross are creating a model for success. Collaborations are a big part of how the Norcross farmers market has come together. Through its double value coupon program, Wholesome Wave Georgia will work with the Norcross Community Market to incentivize Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly known as the food stamp program) customers to shop at the local market. Shoppers will double the value of their SNAP benefits by participating in the program.
Open Hand Atlanta offered live cooking demonstrations at the market. Volunteer food educators have been trained in their Cooking Matters curriculum and will offer sample bites of meals and snacks that use food items available for purchase at the market. Market attendees walked away with easy and tasty menu ideas. Local chefs were also showcasing their food offerings at the market, offering shoppers ways to kick their experience with local food up a notch.
The Norcross Community Market is organized by Sustainable Norcross, Georgia Farmers Market Association and Project Generation Gap. Sponsors include City of Norcross, Norcross DDA, Accent Creative Group, Advanced Disposal, Wholesome Wave Georgia, Brock Built Homes, JB Realty Partners, Massage Envy, Heaven & Associates PC Certified Public Accountants, Lionheart Theater, Andrew and Yarden Hixson, and Bea and Bob Grossman.
For more information, visit www.norcrosscommunitymarket.com.
About the City of Norcross
Incorporated in 1870, the city of Norcross has been very busy securing a solid standing as both an eco-conscious community and world-class art district in the nearly century and a half since. Voted Gwinnett County’s “Best Arts & Cultural Scene” by Gwinnett Magazine, Norcross has become well known for its unconventional public arts projects. In addition to earning both Gold and Silver Level awards as a “Green Community” from the Atlanta Regional Commission, Norcross has been recognized as a “Best Green Government” by Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and “Tree City USA” by The Arbor Day Foundation. The Sustainable Norcross Commission has earned regional applause for its efforts to spearhead the City’s local pro-environment practices. The city’s famed tree canopy, 11 parks and more than 31 acres of beautifully maintained public green space serve as popular gathering spaces for residents and visitors alike. A jam-packed calendar of events and eclectic collection of shops and restaurants serve to keep the historic downtown area bustling year-round. Creative souls from all walks of life are encouraged to “come unwind” and enjoy the positive energy that earns Norcross its reputation as “a place to imagine.”