VGA has not only created a wonderful, successful farmers market for our area, but they have also sustained it through all of the ups and downs and many challenges for more than 27 years. As local produce growers, we are so grateful for their investment and all the hard work they put into making it great for everyone.” – Ed & Donna Welchert, Ed Welchert Produce

Omaha Farmers Market

OBJECTIVE:

Creating a seasonal, weekly public market in the historic Old Market district and Aksarben Village.

STRATEGY:

Partnering with Old Market and Aksarben Village developers and advocates to coordinate the logistics; bringing in local farmers and vendors to offer their products to visitors; creating a marketing campaign to attract and sustain attendance.

RESULTS:

Developing an annual 24-week Omaha Farmers Market on Saturday in the Old Market and Sunday in Aksarben Village.

In 1994, VGA helped lead a successful initiative—in collaboration with Omaha Mayor P.J. Morgan and Old Market “founder” Sam Mercer and the Mercer family—to bring a public market to the historic Old Market District. The popular Omaha Farmers Market, held on Saturday mornings from May through October, has become an Omaha tradition and attracts thousands of weekly shoppers with a unique selection of locally produced products.

Each week, the market offers farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, jams and jellies, coffees, honey, organic foods, and more. The Market also offers a unique mix of crafts, prepared foods, bedding plants, fresh-cut flowers, and baked goods. In addition to supplying the city with a source of fresh produce, the Omaha Farmers Market literally helps small business owners “grow” their business.

A Sunday Market in Aksarben Village was introduced in 2010 and has grown to more than 120 vendors from its original 45. In 2011, Omaha Farmers Market also became the first market in Omaha and one of the first two markets in Nebraska to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits via EBT cards, the modern replacement for paper food stamps. In addition, the markets match SNAP users’ dollars with Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB). This program will match dollar for dollar up to $20 with DUFB to be used on fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

VGA manages all facets of the Omaha Farmers Market and is also responsible for executing its 24-week marketing campaign.