‘Thursdays on the Plaza’ market launched in Montavilla

SEE THE VIDEO OF OPENING DAY | For those who love the Montavilla Farmers Market, take a look at this outer East Portland mid-week ‘mini-market’ they’re holding in the Montavilla business district …

Gathering for a ribbon cutting, to signifying that the Thursdays on the Plaza is open for business is Emily Sandison (METBA board member), Kwame Bey (owner of Moorish Roots Farm), Lisa Hall (Market Manager of Montavilla Farmers Market, Xee Thao (owner of Sunrise Family Farm), Brett Moore (METBA board member), Jacob Loeb (METBA board member), Eric Larpenteur (METBA board member), Heather Morrill (Community Engagement Manager for MFM) .

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Since it first opened on Sunday, July 22, in 2007 [CLICK HERE to read about it], the Montavilla Farmers Market (MFM) has continued to gain in acceptance byt outer East Portland neighbors. So much so that the MFM has taken to holding biweekly “winter markets” during its off-season.

And now, the MFM has expanded its reach once again, by starting the Montavilla Farmers Market Thursdays on the Plaza, on July 7.

On opening day, MFM Thursdays on the Plaza Manager Alexandra Neri spends a moment with Kwame Bey of Moorish Roots, and Jake Sowers from Rusted Fork Farm.

Which plaza? Well, it’s the newly-repainted Montavilla Public Plaza, on SE 79th Avenue between Stark and Pine Streets.

“This idea came up because we wanted to offer a ‘bite-sized’ market – for the community to get a refill on groceries, midweek,” explained Market Manager Alexandra Neri, just after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“At the same time, we’re supporting local businesses by showcasing local farmers and small businesses, here at the Montavilla Public Plaza,” Neri told East Portland News.

As it officially opens, the MFM Thursdays on the Plaza market is filled with shoppers.

Before undertaking the new venture, MFM Board Members coordinated with the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association – and they conducted a poll at Sunday MFM days, too – to determine the level of interest for a mid-week market. “It turned out to be really positive, so we’ve gone forward with it,” Neri said.

Every Thursday afternoon, shoppers will find six vendors who were selected on their ability to provide different unique categories of foods and services. “And again, our focus is on supporting small and ‘micro’ businesses,” pointed out Neri.

Watch, as the MFM Thursdays on the Plaza market opens to happy customers:

Starting off, the Thursdays on the Plaza market’s vendors included Moorish Roots, Kulfi icy cold treats, Sebastiano’s Sicilian Deli & Bakery, Baird Family Orchards, South Barlow Berries, and florist Sunrise Family Farm. Prepared food and beer was available on the street from Threshold Brewing. And, if you arrive before they close, you’ll find coffee, sandwiches, and Portland’s best handmade pies at Bipartisan Cafe.

Each week, visitors will shop to live music. Families, dogs, and outside food are welcome. And, EBT will is accepted, and matched every week (up to $20), at the MFM Thursdays on the Plaza market.

Robert Dunham of Baird Family Orchards sells to Kathy Carlisle, a visitor from Ridgefield, Washington.

This mid-week market is made possible through a Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the PBOT Public Street Plaza Program, and in collaboration with the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association.

Shoppers find mouthwatering treats at the South Barlow Berries booth.

Montavilla Farmers Market Thursdays on the Plaza

  • Thursdays, from 4 until 7 p.m.
  • Weekly through September 29
  • In Montavilla Public Street Plaza – SE 79th Avenue, north of Stark Street
  • For more information, CLICK HERE.


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