Economic Development

Vendors Grow $24,000 at Warren Farmers Markets

WARREN, Ohio – Vendors at the weekly farmers markets sponsored by Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership report sales of $24,162 during the 20-plus weeks the market was held last summer. From early June until the beginning of October, the market was open three hours on Courthouse Square every Tuesday.

In the market’s annual report, released Monday, TNP noted that 47.1% of customers spent between $11 and $20 and 20% spent $21 to $30. Most market-goers were either in the 25 to 35 or 36 to 54 age ranges,  39% and 37%, respectively.

New last summer was Mercy Health’s fruit and vegetable prescription voucher program and TNP’s Double Your Dollars Snap and EBT sales. Both allowed customers who used their Snap or EBT cards to get  twice as much produce as they spent; $5,064 and $3,742 were spent through the two programs, respectively, according to the report.

The farmers markets averaged 266 visitors every week with most – 83% – saying they were at the market less than half an hour and 14% saying they were at the market  between 30 and 60 minutes.

Of the 13 vendors at the market, 80% said they felt a “solid to strong sense of community at the market” and 90% said they had repeat customers who returned throughout the summer, the report states. Three-fifths of businesses on Courthouse Square surveyed said they had an uptick in sales during and immediately after the market.

“The Warren Farmers Market has been a huge success, and has served a vital role in TNP’s larger effort to increase the quality of life in Warren and surrounding communities,” said TNP’s executive director, Matt Martin, in a prepared statement.

The success of the market also ties into Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership’s mission of community improvement, said the market’s director, Sheila Calko. About 65% of residents in the neighborhoods immediately north of Courthouse Square say the market improves the area. TNP estimated that 82% of shoppers live or work in Warren.

“In 2015 TNP’s Warren Farmer’s Market partnered with many community stakeholders to reduce food insecurity in Warren and provide a quality community event that promotes not only healthy eating but serves as an economic development tool to boost our local economy,” Calko said.

Pictured: Shoppers June 2 at the first Warren Farmers Market of 2015.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.