Springtime always brings exciting changes to Richmond’s farmers markets, and this year is no exception.
The Market Umbrella, which produces the South of the James Farmers Market at Forest Hill Park, Richmond’s largest and most popular farmers market, is changing its name. Under the name GrowRVA, the market management company also is launching a new outdoor market in Shockoe Slip in addition to continuing to operate the Virginia Street Gallery art gallery in Shockoe Slip.
The new name, says GrowRVA president Karen Atkinson, better reflects her ever expanding efforts to promote Richmond-area farmers, food producers, artists and artisans. While the change is effective immediately, it will be phased in over the market season.
“When we began, we operated just one market in Forest Hill Park,” says Atkinson. “But in a short five years, that market has grown into an event drawing as many as 5,000 people a week and that success has allowed us to expand our efforts to promote Richmond and Virginia products and the people who produce them.”
To that end, GrowRVA opened the Virginia Street Gallery this past fall, providing a permanent, indoor home to more than 40 artists, fine artists, artisans and crafters, allowing them to exhibit and sell their works all year round to an expanded clientele in the heart of Richmond’s business district.
As the market season commences, GrowRVA launches a new outdoor market located just down the street from the gallery adjacent to the historic Kanahwa Canal turning basin. This new market provides expanded opportunity for employees of downtown businesses to shop for local produce and wares within a block of some of the best and most popular lunchtime establishments in the area.
“Shockoe Slip is Richmond,” Atkinson says. “This is the heart of a city that again will be alive on market days with Virginia farmers, fishermen and artisans bringing their products to Richmond-area families.”
GrowRVA continues as a lead partner with the Virginia Department of Agriculture in promoting its statewide farmers market SNAP program, allowing families on state assistance to use their SNAP dollars to purchase fresh farm goods and healthy foods directly from the farmers and producers.
“It’s going to be an exciting market season in Richmond,” says Atkinson. “And GrowRVA will continue to help Richmond families, farmers and producers to come together. We may have a new name, but we’re the same old umbrella.”
Contact: Karen Atkinson, 804-513-3100, firstname.lastname@example.org