A 25,000-square-foot warehouse once used to ship Perfection bread from its docks will now be the site of the YLNI Winter Farmers Market.
The Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, more commonly referred to as YLNI, found that their summer farmers market had done well at its Barr Street location downtown. So an arrangement was made with Sweetwater Inc., owner of the yellow brick building on Pearl Street, for a winter market.
Wednesday afternoon, about 50 people, many of them vendors, came to learn details of the market that opens Oct. 24 for a 27-week run. The Saturday market will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ashley Wagner, YLNI Farmers Market manager, and Brandon Noll, YLNI vice president for community input, led the tour. The market will likely provide Zumba classes, yoga and possibly live music, with all activities adhering to social distancing guidelines. Vendors and customers will be asked to wear masks, Wagner said.
Noll told the vendors that the arrangement with Sweetwater was a one-year deal.
Cris Lamb, who sells 150 flavors of fudge through her company, Old World Fudge Company, said sales were good at the summer market and she intended to continue to sell at the winter farmers market.
“YLNI is good at management and getting things done,” said Lamb who lives in Columbia City. “They're very organized. They're looking towards the future of Fort Wayne.”
Tom Sherbondy, a Fort Wayne-based potter, another summer market vendor who plans to return, said he may have other potters show their wares during the holiday season.
Kourtney Jones, a poet who owns The Poem Market, an on-the-spot poem vendor, and Autumn Law and Halie Neuhaus, food and natural product vendors, also intend to return this winter.
“It has an old industrial feel,” Wagner said of the warehouse that will become the market. “It's close to The Landing and has the same atmosphere as Barr Street.”