Eight-year Bloomfield resident Christina Howell said she realized that she was always traveling out of the neighborhood to go to festivals and markets.
As the program manager for the Bloomfield Development Corporation, that was a bit upsetting.
To help fix this problem, the organization decided to create a place where businesses and residents could interact within the neighborhood.
As a result, the new Bloomfield Saturday Market is kicking off this weekend with locally sourced food and entertainment.
“It is what we’ve been calling a farmer’s market on steroids, it has a very strong community component built in,” Howell said. “We’re shooting for cooking demonstrations every week that focus on healthy ingredients and teaching people to make things that are available at the farmer’s market.”
There will be 24 vendors for this inaugural event including the Pittsburgh Pie Guy, DJ’s Butcher Block and Freedom Farms, which is known for its presence on the reality show "Farm Kings."
“We have everything from hummus to vegetarian empanadas to wood fired pizzas,” Howell said. “Then we have an orchard, a larger farmer, smaller farmers, we have Healcrest Urban Farm … we have coffee and sweets, and Italian ice, and cheese and all kinds of things.”
According to Howell, this farmer’s market “on steroids” will also include concerts, exercise demonstrations and lessons about safety from emergency service providers.
“We really want to kind of emphasize that healthy living is more than just eating your leafy greens vegetables everyday,” Howell said. “It’s also getting out to talk to your neighbors, it’s also walking to a place like the market, it’s learning about nutrition in general, it’s about physical fitness in ways you might not think.”
Howell also hopes the market will create an environment for businesses to experiment and learn.
“Part of our mission is to help entrepreneurs to get set up to sell at our market because a lot of people, business owners just have an idea, maybe have a little bit of inventory but never sold at an outdoor market before and need a little help working through the permitting processes and the insurance process and maybe need some ideas on how to get funding,” Howell said.
The market on Liberty Avenue between South Winebiddle and Gross Streets will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 1.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that the Bloomfield Saturday Market is the first-ever farmer's market in the Bloomfield neighborhood. While new, it is not the first. Additionally, Healcrest Urban Farm's name was misspelled. The article has been updated.