Hours: Public Market Hours: Sat. 5 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Other Surrounding Business Hours Vary
Dave Carmody, President and Marketing Relations Specialist, shared the history and changes happening at Eastern Market in Detroit.
Q: In a sentence or two can you describe what Eastern Market offers visitors?
A: Detroit’s venerable Eastern Market is one of the largest and longest continuously operated public markets in the United States. It features a year round Saturday Market that covers five-square blocks that attracts as many as 40,000 people per week and a more intimate, seasonal Tuesday Market with 50 vendors which runs from July 10 through Oct. 30. The Eastern Market District, which surrounds the market, hosts many diverse food businesses that compliment market offerings and an increasing number of arts and retail establishments that add spice to the mix.
Q: Can you give a brief history of the market?
A:The market began operations at its current site in 1891. Eastern Market is built upon the base of a wholesale market that still operates in the wee-hours of the day throughout the week during the Michigan harvest season. This market sells to independent grocers and regional food distributors who that do not have their own regional distribution centers or rely upon terminal markets where national and internationally sourced fruits and veggies are distributed. One of our vendors began selling eggs when Calvin Coolidge was president, one farm family that sells at the market has been at the market since it began in 1891.
Q: What impact has EM had on the area around it in Detroit? Has the neighborhood improved? In what ways?
A: Eastern Market is an anchor for the near eastside of Detroit and part of the greater Downtown along with Downtown, Corktown, and Midtown. The Eastern Market District has seen a slew of new business openings lately and plans to build up the area east of the market will explode as greenway connections to the riverfront and Midtown are completed.
Q: Are there any special events coming up that you’d like to mention?
A: Eastern Market Burger Brawl is scheduled for the first Saturday in August. It will feature competitive judging for the best burger in Detroit by competing area restaurants along with fun for the whole family. Healthy Harvest Festival is scheduled for Sunday September 16 and is a back to school healthy living festival we are developing along with Henry Ford Health Systems, the City of Detroit and Detroit Public Schools.
Q: It seems like new businesses are always opening around EM. Are there plans for anymore shops to open in the area soon?
A: Plans are underway for a new bakery, several restaurants and more art galleries and studios. Moreover, Eastern Market is focused on growing more food businesses and strengthening its role as a working food district. The Eastern Market Community Kitchen will increase our ability to incubate new food businesses and our Local Food Accelerator project will create new markets for regional growers by connecting local food to more large institutions.
Carmody added, “It is one of the most convivial and unique places you will ever find. If you never have been to Eastern Market on a sunny, summer morning you are missing one of the great urban adventures in North America.”
~ Krissy Schwab, Feature Writer