As Minnesota’s population becomes more diverse throughout the state, urban markets are spreading outside the Twin Cities, with St. Cloud’s first outdoor urban market scheduled to open on Wednesday, July 14. Several community groups representing Latino, African-American and Somali residents and businesses in St. Cloud are cosponsoring the urban market, along with nonprofits such as the Initiative Foundation and Central Minnesota Community Foundation.
Sponsored by the city’s Downtown Council group of business boosters, the market is expected to run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Wednesday for 12 weeks, said Mimi Doran, co-owner of 2 City Chics, the marketing firm hired to coordinate the event.
The event will offer free live entertainment as well as vendors selling lunches, gluten-free pasta and baked goods, yoga and Tai Kwon Do lessons, urban composting and gardening supplies and more, she said.
An informational meeting last week saw 32 potential vendors express interest, Doran said.
“The common themes that ran throughout the evening seemed to be the interest in helping incubator businesses, providing a reason for community to gather together, and celebrating the diversity in the area,” she said. “Of course, people are wanting to shop local and healthy and are looking forward to being able to buy fresh produce and gift items on their lunch break!”
The deadline for applications is Thursday. The urban market will take place in front of the Herberger’s Department Store at Sixth Avenue North and St. Germain Street in downtown St. Cloud.
Doran and her partner, Denice Lacher, are also coordinating with the city of Minneapolis in the planning of a similar outdoor urban market for West Broadway in Minneapolis. (For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
According to the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association, the St. Cloud area has a farmers’ market in St. Cloud and nearby St. Joseph.
The St. Cloud Farmers’ Market takes place at 8 a.m. every Saturday from the beginning of May until the end of October at Bremer Bank, 1100 St. Germain Street.
The St. Joseph Farmers’ Market takes place from 3-6:30 p.m. every Friday from May 8 until October 16 at the Lake Wobegon Trail Head two blocks north of Stearns County Road 75 on Stearns County Road 2.