CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Two groups announced they’re joining forces for the 2014 Farmers Market season.
A new “Market to Market” partnership aims to make it easier for guests to visit the NewBo City Market and the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers Market.
In just about a week and a half the downtown market will shift into full gear. As that happens, the markets are teaming up to have a trolley bring people back and forth. It’s all about creating growth in both neighborhoods.
Tracey Norman is gearing up for what she calls market season. She’s filling and labeling jars of many different spreads she makes for her business called “Butter Me Up.”
“I started out as a outdoor vendor for the Cedar Rapids Downtown Market and that’s kind of how my business has grown. So we are definitely going to be back there again this year,” Norman said.
In the meantime, she has recently moved in as a permanent vendor at the NewBo City Market. That means this year, she’ll be selling her products at both markets.
“I remember people being at the Downtown Market last year asking me if NewBo was open or if there were other things going on,” Norman said.
That’s why the two markets are working together, providing a trolley service between NewBo and downtown.
“I think it’s really a great way to attract more people. Maybe, if you haven’t tried out one market, you’ll try them both out now. Maybe stop, stay a while at a downtown business or NewBo business,” said Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Event Planner Jill Wilkins.
NewBo Market Executive Director Kristie Wetjen, however, said there’s more to it than that.
“Having the ability for people to get to the market easily just helps all of our farmers. It’s a way to bring awareness to the local farmers that are both at downtown and here at Newbo and just, you know, let people see that there is a great variety of local foods that’s available in Cedar Rapids,” Wetjen said.
Norman definitely knows all about producing local food. So, with a busy season ahead, she’s going to keep working to stayed prepared.
“It will definitely be, by far, our biggest summer,” Norman said.
Market organizers said the trolley would go back and forth on the Saturdays when both markets are open, and it’s a free service.
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