About Ft. Wayne’s Farmers Market
Ft. Wayne’s Farmers Market (FWFM) was established in the fall of 2012, when it was realized that there were many vendors who were left without a great venue to sell their items once the summer markets all shut down for the season in September. After asking several customers as well it was realized that an indoor market was desired and a possibility. We started out slowly, operating our market once a month at Parkview Field. During this time, our vendors have done an incredible job learning how/what/when to grow things in the cold winter months.
Shortly after our first year operating, we made the decision to operate more frequently, and decided on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month. We operated like this until the fall of 2016. After much discussion amongst our small group of volunteers, and asking many vendors what their thoughts were, we made the decision that our goal of being a year-round, weekly market was finally ready to become reality in the spring of 2016. In the fall of 2016, we began our first weekly indoor season, and are currently on track to operate for 52 weeks a year.
Since summer of 2013, we have also operated a summer market, operating at the corner of Barr/Wayne Streets, directly across from the YLNI Farmers Market. We are currently on track to have around more than 60 vendors at our summer markets.
One thing we feel like sets us apart from other markets is that we hold our vendors to some pretty stringent standards. We perform routine farm inspections for all of our farm vendors. We do this to ensure that auction produce and wholesale items are not being brought into our market. Sure, I’m guessing that some of that still does occur, but we try our absolute best to ensure that it doesn’t. Everything at our market must be from at most a 100 mile radius. In many cases, it’s from 50 miles or less. We also maintain a strict 80/20 rule when it comes to the vendors we allow into the market. 80% of our products are from the farm/food or natural category; the other 20% is from the craft sector. Most markets, most of our products are 95% farm/food or natural products, while just 5% are crafts. Our goal first and foremost, is to be a farmers market. We are here to support and help our vendors, and firmly believe that the market will only be successful if the vendors are.