Vibrant flower arrangements, crisp produce, freshly baked treats, and wooden bowls were among the commodities that packed the 35 vendor stalls coiling throughout the indoor marketplace. The melodies of a live band and the soft clamor of voices filled the space, as a sweet and savory aroma wafted to each corner. At the door, two employees with coupons in hand eagerly greeted visitors, some of whom were frequent patrons, while others may have been lured in for the first time by the lively scene.
Attracting this diversity of customers was the primary objective of the Boston Public Market open house, which was held for the second consecutive year on March 20. As a free event open to the public, the open house sought to provide a taste of each aspect of the Boston Public Market.
“The idea is really that we … essentially take elements of what we do at the market throughout the year and put it all into one night,” said Amanda Campbell, the market’s director of communications. “Anyone who has never been here before or if they do come often … can get a sense of what the Boston Public Market has to offer any day of the year.”
Vendor food samples, live music, trivia games, and cooking demos were featured activities at the open house, and all are offered at the market on a regular basis. Special pop-up vendors, exclusive coupons, prizes, and a photo booth were elements unique to the open house.
Prepared meals and groceries alike were among the food options offered by vendors, including ice cream, coffee, baked goods, noodles, and sandwiches. Local small-business owners sold everything from succulents to tableware to yarn. Honey, tea, and spices were found at other stalls. Near the back of the marketplace, visitors were invited to enjoy their purchases at communal picnic tables as a live band played on the stage before them.
“Our mission here is to support local small businesses, local agriculture, and to really educate the public about nutrition and health and wellness,” Campbell said.
As a nonprofit, the Boston Public Market seeks to support New England’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, while providing the community with locally-sourced products and unique food experiences. All people of Boston are welcome at the market, but Campbell emphasized the role of students in fulfilling the market’s mission.
“We really love our audience of local students—they’re so important to the city of Boston,” she said.
Campbell said the Boston Public Market hopes to continue the open house as an annual event promoting the programs and mission of the nonprofit. By giving the public an opportunity to explore all the market has to offer in one evening, she hopes the event will attract new supporters while solidifying its appeal to regular visitors.
“Whether you’re a new or an old fan of the market you can come and just experience it all,” Campbell said.
Featured Image by Chloe McAllaster / Heights Editor