Creating a seasonal, weekly public market in the historic Old Market district
Partnering with Old Market 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
Developing an annual 25-week Omaha Farmers Market that expanded to a Sunday Market at Aksarben Village in 2010 and a four-week Market in north Omaha in 2011
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, ethnic 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 also doubled to more than 90 vendors from its original 45. A four-week Wednesday Market at Charles Drew Health Center was established in 2011 to serve the North Omaha Community. 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.
VGA manages all facets of the Omaha Farmers Market and is also responsible for executing its 25-week marketing campaign.