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Case Study: Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace

Case Study: Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace

The Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace is a hub for local food activity.

The Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace is a hub for local food activity. Having run successful and inclusive farmers markets for ten years as of 2015, Growing Hope was ready to create a year-round space for healthy food and grow the local economy in the heart of downtown Ypsilanti. The opportunity to expand came about when they purchased a vacant bank drive through and unused warehouse, now known as the Robert C Barnes Sr MarketPlace Hall, and were able to transform these two parcels into a gathering spot and market space using the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Public Spaces Community Places (PSCP) crowdgranting program. Through PSCP, they raised more than $20,000 over their goal and had nearly 300 donors support the campaign, showcasing community buy-in.

Marketplaces are one of the most ancient ways people connect with each other. Good food is the central reason people gather, and that gathering creates a hub for community life. Thriving markets not only strengthen local economies and community identity, but they also have positive impacts on people’s health and nutrition. Farmers markets are primary assets in community revitalization and the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace became such an asset for the city.

Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace exterior with large bold lettering on the roof of the building stating it so.
Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace
“Our makers that use this space tell us, ‘I would not be able to run my own business and do what we do without this space’. Our bakers, caterers, and prepared product makers are able to come and work anytime, so it’s like a co-working space for food producers. This space is often a stepping stone for growth to a brick and mortar or the next step up and there is so much need for that in this community. I love the economic empowerment this space provides for our food entrepreneurs!”- Cynthia VanRenterghem, Executive Director of Growing Hope

The year-round indoor-outdoor permanent market hosts the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market, The Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative Market, and has a dedicated licensed kitchen space for an incubator kitchen. The Growing Hope Incubator Kitchen is housed within the Robert C. Barnes Sr. MarketPlace Hall, which is also used for community events and rentals. The incubator kitchen fills a great need for the local food community, providing licensed kitchen space to local food entrepreneurs who need a place to prepare their goods for sale and store their prep products. Aside from being a community events space, small business incubator, and year round market space, the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace has allowed local farmers to expand their operations into hoophouses for year round production and revenue.

Project Details

  • Project: Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace
  • Project Type: Food and Agriculture, Public Plazas and Markets, Community Centers and Venues
  • Project Location: Ypsilanti, MI
  • Crowdfunding Raise: $86,600
  • Crowdgranting Match: $65,000
  • Patrons: 283
  • Leveraged Funding: $248,400
  • Total Project Estimate: $378,400
Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace with tents setup for market and people wandering through.
Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace

About Public Spaces Community Places

Public Spaces Community Places (PSCP) is our crowdgranting partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). This crowdgranting initiative provides matching grant funds to eligible projects that improve public space in the state of Michigan. Projects can receive a matching grant of up to $50,000 if they reach their crowdfunding goal.

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