Arlington Foodies Broaden Their Scope While Remaining True to Their Collaborative Approach and Core Mission
Jennifer Hurley, co-founder of the new Downtown Arlington Foodies Farmer’s Market, is very enthusiastic about Arlington Foodies, a Facebook-based foodie group that builds community, supports small business, and creates programming around the love of really good food.
“Arlington Foodies is a non-profit that supports health and wellness and focuses on community-driven success for small, local restaurants in the city of Arlington, Texas,” Jennifer said. Members of the group, which total in the thousands, include diners and restaurant owners as well as grocers and wholesale food distributors, all working together to create a healthy and compelling food mecca in Arlington.
“Arlington Foodies started as a virtual community to respectfully discuss local restaurants,” said Jennifer, who is also the owner of Oak Street Marketing, a small Arlington-based web and graphic design company. “In a little over two years, we’ve grown into a sounding board for the city and a community of people who believe food is a universal language. We have a variety of Facebook groups for home chefs, kids, health, restaurants and more.”
As in any true collaboration, the idea for starting a Downtown Arlington farmer's market came about when people with common goals and interests got together and got creative.
“The Downtown Arlington Management Corporation came to us to learn more about our Facebook group,” Jennifer said. “When they discovered we are a thriving, grassroots foodie community and learned about our goals for Arlington, they offered the idea of creating a farmer's market in Downtown.”
“Promoting and encouraging healthy lifestyles in Downtown is a top priority for the Board and for me personally,” said Aldo Fritz, President and CEO of DAMC. “We’re so excited to be partnering with Arlington Foodies to bring our shared vision to life while supporting a variety of small and family-owned businesses.”
Jennifer’s fellow Market co-founder is Launa Virgo, former owner of Handley Farmer's Market. “Launa’s experience in the industry is invaluable, and she is providing excellent knowledge about what it takes to become a vendor in Arlington,” said Jennifer.
From Ideas to Collaborations
DAMC sponsors the Farmer’s Market through its new business incentive initiative, the Downtown Arlington Pop-Up! Partner program.
“From our earliest conversations, we knew that the Farmer’s Market was exactly the kind of initiative we wanted to support as a Pop-Up! Partner,” said Aldo. “DAMC seeks Pop-Up! Partners whose initiatives will make a visible and positive impact throughout the community we serve in a variety of ways, including health and wellness, placemaking and economic development.”
“We are very grateful to everyone who has jumped in to support us,” said Jennifer. “DAMC has given us invaluable support in permitting. Legal Draft graciously offered us space at their location, and Urban Union is providing additional space for the market. Cartel Tacos (opening in December) has also been very supportive, and CenterSpace Coworking in Downtown will host our vendor class on November 30.”
Arlington Foodies has experience in launching initiatives that close the gap between farmers and families. The Arlington Foodies Produce Co-op meets every other week from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at CenterSpace for their community-driven produce pick up. Once the Farmer’s Market opens, the co-op will have a regular presence there selling local, organic produce.
Farm to Market to Table
The Downtown Arlington Foodies Farmer's Market will be held year-round from 2:00-6:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month. The Farmer’s Market will be located adjacent to Legal Draft Beer Co., 500 E. Division St., Arlington, Texas, 76011.
While the Farmer’s Market doesn’t officially launch until January 12, 2019, the Market will set up a booth in its future location on December 8, 2018 to provide a taste of what’s to come.
What is to come?
“Once a month, the pavers next to Legal Draft will be filled with excellent local vendors from Arlington and across North Texas,” said Jennifer. “But that’s just the beginning. We’ll host a variety of competitions such as a chili cook-off in January and a pie-eating contest in July. We also plan to offer educational opportunities for adults and kids, including 4-H studies for children in Tarrant County.”
“We are grateful for this opportunity and proud to provide Arlington citizens a wonderful monthly market,” Jennifer continued, “one that will bring something new and exciting every month.”
For More Information
If you're interested in becoming a vendor at the Farmer's Market, Arlington Foodies welcomes your questions and offers assistance in obtaining the necessary permits. Learn how you can become a vendor or shop at the Arlington Foodies Farmer’s Market by visiting this page on their website.
Become a Pop-Up! Partner
The Downtown Arlington Pop-Up! Partner program is designed to attract and support pop-up enterprises that have never before taken place in Downtown Arlington. Through cost-sharing, co-branding and mutually beneficial event planning and promotion, DAMC seeks to broaden and deepen the spectrum of activities taking place in Downtown Arlington. For more information, visit the Pop-Up! Partner page on our website.
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About Downtown Arlington
Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate.