Skip to Content
background texture image

NewBo City Market Brings Produce-Focused Farmers Market to the Community

July 10, 2023 | Business Support, Community Development

NewBo City Market Cedar Rapids Iowa

NewBo City Market has added a new initiative to its market experience that brings more locally produced food to the Cedar Rapids community. The Farmers at the Market program is a farmer-centric approach that diverts from the style of farmers market that the community has grown accustomed to. This Farmers at the Market program at NewBo City Market is focused on providing space for both new and established farmers as a means for them to directly sell their products to customers, so that there is a direct relationship between the farmers and the consumers.

This program is an important initiative for the Cedar Rapids community because it will serve as a means for a diverse group of emerging farmers to overcome certain barriers that have long prevented them from accessing audiences that will benefit from their goods.

“There are a number of barriers that prevent emerging farmers from developing a successful business model, and one of those barriers is having an audience and an outlet to sell their goods,” Said Matt McGrane, Director of Equitable Business Development at NewBo City Market. “At NewBo City Market, we want to break down that barrier by providing our local farmers with access to both an outlet to sell their goods, and an audience to sell them to.”

Another critical benefit of this Farmers at the Market program is that it stands to bridge a significant gap of food insecurity within the Cedar Rapids immigrant community. There are many immigrants within the community, especially those from West African countries, who do not have access to the kind of produce they need to cook their national dishes. The market will now be a place where those communities can access familiar produce that may not be found in traditional grocery stores in the area, as some of the participating farmers are from those communities and know the significance in being able to provide them.

With diverse produce being available at the markets, the Farmers at the Market program will present a unique opportunity for the Cedar Rapids community to broaden their knowledge on the different types of produce that are out there. It acts as an opportunity for the community to become more connected through food, as more access to diverse produce could impact food sharing through recipes, cooking and other avenues.

What differentiates the Farmers at the Market at NewBo City Market from the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market is the produce-focused approach NewBo City Market has taken with their market. Attendees of the Downtown Farmers Market enjoy family focused activities, local entertainment, fresh eats and brews, produce, apparel and so much more. On the same day, market goers can stop by the Farmers at the Market at NewBo City Market for additional fresh produce, thus providing a wholistic experience for the entire market community. Both provide their own unique and important experiences to the community.

“We hope to become a true hub for being an exclusively farm-based food destination, where consumers searching for food items like meats, egg, dairy, honey, and produce can become directly connected with the farmers who can provide them.” Said Matt Mcgrane.

The simultaneous existence of community events like the Downtown Farmers Market and the NewBo City Market Farmers at the Market is a great opportunity for business owners in the community. The Farmers at the Market program takes their approach a step further by providing its farmers with access to grant-funding, land access, among other resources they need to be successful, thanks to sponsorships from Frontier Co-Op and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.

The community is encouraged to add to the successes of these market initiatives by seeing the value each market brings to the area and supporting them based on that value addition. To highlight their commitment to the consumers and businesses participating in the Farmers at the Market and the Downtown Farmers Market, both the NewBo City Market and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance have committed to providing special discounts consumers can receive at both markets if they show receipts, totes, mugs, or other confirmation of supporting both markets. The Farmers at the Market program runs Saturdays from June 10th to September 30th, 2023, while the Downtown Farmers Market runs through September 16.