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Who is Neighborhood Roots, and why?

Who is Neighborhood Roots?

Who runs the Kingfield Farmers Market? The Fulton Farmers Market?   2014’s Nokomis Farmers Market? We do. The nonprofit organization behind that “we” is now named Neighborhood Roots. Neighborhood Roots comprises a market staff of 1.5, a 12-member board of directors, and multiple groups of committed volunteers.

After sprouting the Fulton Farmers Market in 2011, the Kingfield Farmers Market became the Kingfield & Fulton Farmers Markets. Now with the Nokomis Farmers Market in 2014, and having expanded our social mission and the reach of the communities we work with in recent years, we recognized the need for a change in our organizational identity behind the scenes.

Each of our markets will continue as it has been – with its own name, location, mix of vendors, feel, and sense of community.   A new, unified website, however, will be the most significant evidence of change to the market-goers, community partners, and vendors that we serve.

Why Neighborhood Roots?

Think neighborhoods, growing, food, and community. When considering a new name, we continually returned to these key images and values.

Each of our markets has been generated by residents in their respective communities. The Kingfield Neighborhood Association, the Fulton Neighborhood Association, and the Hale-Page Diamond Lake Community Association planted the first seeds of our markets with their founding grants. Without them the markets could not have grown to where they are today.

To their core, our markets continue to be supported at the neighborhood level. While our market-goers now come from throughout Minneapolis and beyond, we know many of our most regular patrons come from the immediate blocks around the markets. Our board members and volunteers are community members, contributing to what remains a largely volunteer-led organization. And our yearly budget relies heavily on support from our sponsors, which are local businesses serving our same communities.

In exchange, we hope that our work continues to strengthen the foundations of the communities we serve. At the markets, we see neighbors coming together weekly to build relationships and buy, eat and learn about local food. Together, our support of over 75 different market vendors over the course of a typical season promotes small business growth and the continued development of a stronger local food system. Our customer base continues to diversify as we explore additional ways to facilitate access to fresh healthy food among residents of all income levels.

We’ve come a long way since our start as a pickup truck full of vegetables behind Anodyne Coffeehouse. We look forward to continuing to grow with you.