Easton, PA – Neighbors in Easton’s West Ward have a new place to shop for fresh produce, baked goods and meals this summer.
The Easton Market District adds a third market to the mix — the West Ward Market. The outdoor street market will debuted June 1 and runs 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays (June-September) on 12th Street near Paxinosa Elementary School. It complements the existing Market District properties — Easton Farmers’ Market, America’s oldest, continuous open-air farmers’ market; and Easton Public Market, a year-round indoor market and gathering space.
“This market will help nourish the neighborhood and we’re excited that its debut coincides with the 270th anniversary of Easton Farmers’ Market,” says Megan McBride, director – Easton Market District. “The West Ward Market will offer fruits and veggies, baked goods, prepared foods and more – with many items that reflect the rich international food cultures of West Ward residents.”
Adding an outdoor, walkable market in the West Ward was a frequent mention during community meetings run by the West Ward Community Initiative (WWCI), a program of Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP).
“We have heard countless times from the neighborhood of their want for better access to fresh foods and grocery items. We expect that the weekly market will unify the community and become a gathering place for neighbors to find fresh food, activities and cultural events each week,” says Amy Boccadoro, manager-WWCI. “We also hope this market becomes a business incubator for West Ward businesses and restaurants.”
The West Ward Market got a boost thanks to a commitment from the Air Products Foundation through United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, to expand access to fresh, healthy food throughout the Lehigh Valley. The West Ward Market was announced in March 2022 as one of the three local initiatives being supported by this investment.
“We are grateful to the Air Products Foundation and United Way for their support in helping to kick this off,” says Jared Mast, executive director-GEDP. “This really is a community-driven effort and we couldn’t do it without the support from our community partners.”
This season, the market welcomes vendors offering local fruits and veggies, bread and pastries, pickled veggies, olive oil, meat, eggs, prepared meals, cut flowers and dog treats.
- Bizzle’s Bites (all natural, healthy dog treats)
- Jersey Pickles (pickles, olives and pickled veggies)
- Kellyn Foundation (locally-grown and international fruits and veggies, whole grains, and Medicine Meals featuring local growing partners; Easton Urban Farm, Lafayette College’s LaFarm, The Seed Farm, Scholl Orchards and more)
- Krakus Polish Deli (pierogi, kielbasa, soups, chrusciki, cabbage & noodles, cabbage stew, babka, poppyseed roll and more)
- Made by Lino (sourdough breads, croissants, cookies, pastries, muesli, Dominican-inspired baked goods, james and salsas, vegan options)
- Mediterra (organic, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil from Tunisia, balsamic vinegar, Mediterranean spices, rubs and condiments, olive wood crafts)
- Mercantile Outpost (cut flowers and plants)
- Untamed Ferments (naturally probiotic beverages, including; kombucha, switchel, root beer, carbonated lemonade, kvass and nitro tea)
- Windy Springs Farm (a vast selection fruits and veggies, pasture raised beef, roaster chickens, eggs, cut flowers, jarred products and more)
- Zekraft (seasonal soups, salads and desserts as a pop-up vendor)
Like the other markets in the Easton Market District, the West Ward Market accepts EBT, as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, for qualifying purchases at all West Ward vendors. Thanks to a USDA grant through Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley (BFBLGLV), the market offers LV Fresh Food Bucks, matching up to $10 per day on fruit and veggies purchased with EBT. Those enrolled in the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for qualified seniors, and those in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in Pennsylvania can use their vouchers at produce vendors who participate in the state’s program.
The Kellyn Foundation, whose mission is to help individuals and families prevent or reverse chronic disease states, also provides a little assistance to eat healthier. The Eat Real Food Mobile Market offers vouchers to those in need that provide 10-85% of their purchase total on a sliding scale based on household income, says Eric Ruth, co-founder and CEO of Kellyn Foundation.
“Kellyn Foundation is pleased and honored to continue our tradition of serving the West Ward with our partnership with the West Ward Market,” Ruth says. “The Eat Real Food Mobile Market will continue to carry produce from local farms, including LaFarm and the Easton Urban Farm, along with many other local farmers and regional distributors. Kellyn also offers Chef Amanda’s Lifestyle Medicine Meals, a healthy and very tasty plant forward alternative to the regular take-out meal options.”
The West Ward Market is designed to be a gathering place for the community, and will feature music and events throughout the season. Each week visitors can take part in healthy eating activities for kiddos provided by the Easton/Phillipsburg Branch of the Greater Valley YMCA and enjoy activities at weekly community tents. Shoppers can also join bike rides with Community Bike Works at 4 p.m. each week. Easton Cycle will also offer pop-up cycling classes throughout the season.
Easton Garden Works’ weekly booth will feature food and farm activities, like flower crown making and scavenger hunts for kids, as well as pickling kits and seed starting workshops for adults. On the third Wednesday of each month — dubbed ‘Wacky Wednesday’— the YMCA will also provide zany activities for all ages.
Sponsors for the 2022 season include: Air Products Foundation through United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
About the Easton Market District
The Easton Market District comprises the following programs of the nonprofit Greater Easton Development Partnership: Easton Farmers’ Market (EFM), America’s longest continuously-running open-air market; Easton Public Market (EPM), a year-round, indoor market; and the West Ward Market, an outdoor street market that features produce and prepared foods. GEDP is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization focused on Easton’s economic well-being, historical integrity, vibrant culture, and hospitality. For more information, visit eastonpartnership.org.
Photos courtesy of West Ward Market.