At a time of year when many farmers markets are on hiatus, one is at its peak: Emory Farmers Market.
The market is tied to the academic schedule, so it’s closed during university breaks, including summer. But when class is in session—right now—the market is at full throttle. The arrangement gives vendors and consumers another way to connect during the lean winter months.
On Tuesday, 18 vendors were set up on a main walkway at Emory University, and business was hopping. Because a large percentage of the clientele is students on the go, the market leans toward ready-to-eat food: tamales, hummus, baked goods. But it’s all produced with a preference for local and sustainable ingredients.
“No one buys in bulk here,” says Debra Hays, owner of Red Cactus Café, which sells tamales and empanadas. “They grab it and eat it on the way to class.”
The vendors love the foot traffic.
“This is probably our strongest market,” says Kim Grady, co-owner (with husband Ray) of Bella’s Best bakery. “Emory is a very supportive environment, from the administration on down. And that makes a difference in the way the community receives us.”
Local favorites like H&F Bread Co., Zocalo Salsas, King of Pops, and Little Tart Bakeshop are all here, but not everyone is selling prepared food. University employees and kids with kitchens can also stock up on grass-fed beef from Wagon Wheel Ranch and salad mix and collards from Veggie Patch at Bouchard Farms.
The market is open to the public. Park at the Fishburne Parking Deck, step into the sunlight, and then ask anyone the way to the farmers market at the Cox Hall Bridge. It’s an easy walk, maybe 1 ½ city blocks. Parking is just $2 for an hour—plenty of time to pick up whatever you need and get on your way.
Emory Farmers Market hours are technically 12 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, but many vendors set up at 11 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.
Next week, Georgia Tech’s farmers market will open for spring—a full six weeks before most community farmers markets get going. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays.