Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan Transforming from Traditional Market to Food Hub
A public market for over a hundred years, Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan is transforming from a traditional market to a food hub - and more. The market consists of four individual markets: retail (for consumers), wholesale (for grocery stores, distributors and restaurants), flowers, and special events. More than 250 vendors from Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario process, wholesale, and retail their food at the market, which also coordinates aggregation, distribution, processing, and commercial sales for many of the region's small and mid-size farmers. In 2010, the market ramped up its research and planning, entering into a cooperative research agreement with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service to expand the availability of healthy, local food throughout Detroit. The market also plans to redevelop an economic development district to bring in additional business incubators, restaurants, retailers, wholesale services and a distribution center. The market is currently partnering with the Detroit Public Schools to help them work toward meeting their internal goal of converting 30 percent of their $16 million annual food purchases to Michigan-grown and minimally processed foods. And as a major gathering place for consumer-direct retail purchases as well as wholesale transactions, Eastern Market also processes up to $30,000 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits each month.