With a weekly farmer's market down the block, ASU's Downtown campus is ripe with healthy options

Every Saturday, students at the Downtown Phoenix campus can trek across a couple parking lots to be greeted with lively music, the smell of food and friendly faces at the Phoenix Public Market.

The parking lot of the open air market is jam-packed with vendors, each bringing something unique to the shoppers. There are also local food trucks placed right outside the tents so you can stop for a treat before you leave.

Although a mouthful to say, the Phoenix Public Market Open Air Farmer’s Market is a way to buy locally sourced foods and support businesses every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. The market is a block away from Taylor Place and three blocks south of the Roosevelt light rail station.

Dietetics sophomore Nikita Bhuyan said she keeps coming back every week to support family businesses.

“The people are friendly and are really passionate about their food and what they are selling,” Bhuyan said. “You can tell they believe in the product that they have, which I really enjoy because I want to buy a product that the person believes in and is really passionate about selling.”

Vendor Brian Hines, garde manger of The Proper Beast charcuterie, said that the farmer's market is easily accessible to students.

“The hardest thing is just getting people to come to the market,” Hines said. “Especially students because ASU is so close, you think it would be a no brainer. There's a lot here for them.”

Many students find it hard to stay healthy with fast food and dining hall cuisine at their fingertips. Using Maroon and Gold dollars to purchase endless amounts of Starbucks and Lunchables seems easier than cooking a meal. However, with the market’s easy accessibility and affordable prices, students that want a change from the dining hall’s small selection have an opportunity to do so.

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Market Manager Sara Matlin said she tries to “dispel the common misconceptions” that farmer’s markets are too pricey.

“Our market is for absolutely everybody,” she said. “You can shop on a budget here, and you can make a complete meal here.”

Matlin said the farmer’s market is a nonprofit organization that supports small farms and businesses, while providing the public with more than just organic food. Local food vendors and healthy-living activists have teamed up for the past 11 years to support community engagement, making it the longest running farmer's market in the Valley. 

Between vegetables, homemade pasta, jewelry, clothing and more, the market has options for everyone.

Matlin said the farmer’s market struggles with advertising the most, to get people to “come out of their comfort zones” and go every Saturday. She said its mission was, and still is, to promote a healthy community and support local food systems, which means supporting farmers and their agriculture.

Fiscalini Cheese Farmstead Vendor Joelle Green suggested some snacks that can be found throughout the market and stored in dorm.

"If you’re in a dorm you can have some cheese, some hummus, some wonderful salsa and also fresh produce,” she said.

For more information, check out the market's Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and website.

Alexandra Myers | The State Press

A painting on the side of the Phoenix Public Market advertises the weekly Open Air Market.


Reach the reporter at Alexandra.K.Myers@asu.edu or follow @akmyers2asu on Twitter.

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