The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) has a mission to create a thriving marketplace for local food and farm products. Being a MIFMA member provides farmers markets and the farmers and vendors who sell at farmers markets the opportunity to reach this mission through an established set of member benefits. We recently had the privilege of interviewing MIFMA member, Denise Dawson, Market Manager of the Kentwood Farmers Market.
Tell us about the Kentwood Farmers Market? How would you describe the atmosphere?
The atmosphere is very fun! We are located in the library parking lot and there is a lot for everyone to do. We try to have family events and entertainment every market day. Last week we had a DJ and a bounce house. Some families came and spent the day going back and forth from the library to the market. It was great!
What are your hours of operation? Do you operate year-round?
Saturdays, June 13 – Oct 10 from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The Kentwood Farmers Market went through the feasibility study process with MIFMA. What did you find helpful and useful about the study? How has it benefited your market?
It was very beneficial to the startup of the Market. I was hired by the city after the feasibility study was completed and I quickly realized that it was a great resource for me to reference. It was also helpful when recruiting vendors to join our market.
What is one thing that every MIFMA member should know about your market?
This is a hard question, since we are so new. We love the farmers market community and how everyone is so helpful. For our market, we want to make it more of an event where people come for the day. Being located in the library parking lot is helpful and having recreational activities for families to participate in is also essential.
The Kentwood Farmers Market is a MIFMA member market. Why is being a member of MIFMA important to you?
MIFMA is a great resource. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve emailed or called someone in the office for an answer to a silly question. I loved the Certificate Program! It was great to get to meet other market managers and pick their brains about everything market related. The educational aspect and the camaraderie among the other market managers is wonderful.
As some markets have recently started their summer market season, what advice would you give to them?
Don’t forget to breathe! All of the planning and preparations that were made during the off-season will pay off and just take some time to enjoy the market.
Are you on social media? If so, how can members connect with you?
We are currently on Facebook as Kentwood Farmers Market.
Interested in learning more about how to become a member? Click here.