Christmas Comes Early to Wheeling With the Opening of the Public Market
Rejoice, ye purveyors of locally sourced produce. Gone are the days of late-October tears when local farmers’ markets typically close until the following May or June. Wheeling has been blessed with the recent opening of the Public Market. Located at the Intermodal Center on Main Street, the Public Market is a year-round, non-profit famers’ market that brings local, organic food to downtown Wheeling.
The Market offers local produce, eggs, meat, dairy and a full-spectrum lineup of plants. In addition, the Market offers an impressive array of gluten-free and organic foodstuffs, like pasta, healthy oils, snacks and deserts, along with a wide selection of environmentally (and personally) friendly cleaning, storage and bath products that are not available anywhere else in Wheeling. We have found a number of products at the Public Market that we would ordinarily only be able to pick up if we were near a Whole Foods and at better prices. But best of all, the Public Market invests in local farmers by selling their food on consignment, returning 70-80% of sale profits to the farmers themselves (compared to around 15% for traditional grocery).
The Public Market is an offshoot of Grow Ohio Valley, an organization that has shown tremendous commitment to regional food security here in the Ohio Valley. Grow Ohio Valley recognizes that investments in local food can fuel broader economic development, attract young people and significantly increase property values in the neighborhood. As a non-profit, Grow Ohio Valley re-invests every dollar earned into its non-profit mission of bringing healthy and secure food to all residents here in the Ohio Valley. To that end, the Public Market accepts SNAP, WIC and Senior Vouchers. The Market also provides cooking classes open to the public and serves healthy meals with ingredients sourced on site from its fully integrated kitchen.
The Public Market has quickly become a weekly stop for my family, and I have been consistently impressed with the breadth and quality of its offerings. I would recommend anyone who is interested in eating locally to please stop by the Public Market. Supporting this endeavor is truly a win-win. Not only are you investing in your healthy self, but you are also supporting our local farmers and businesses and providing resilience for our community.
Fresh produce lovers, rejoice!