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It's poppin': Farmers' market returns to downtown Chapel Hill

The 2016 Downtown Pop Up Farmers’ Market will be open Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the plaza at the intersection of Church Street and Franklin Street from Aug. 25 to Oct. 27.

The pop-up market is a collaboration between Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market, Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.

Bobby Funk, assistant director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said the pop-up market will be convenient and will liven up street activity.

“We’re just excited to see it come back,” Funk said. “We’re moving it a little later into the day — 3:30 to 5:30 — which hopefully will activate the market a little bit more.”

Mary Turner, manager at Loaf Bakery, a vendor at the market, said she thinks moving the pop-up market later in the day will allow more employees and students to visit.

The market was previously held from 12 to 2 p.m.

“We had thought a lot of people would be leaving their offices,” Turner said. “But they were going to lunch, so they weren’t coming to the farmers’ market.”

“Later in the afternoon might be a little bit better as far as people thinking about ending their workday, what they’re going to eat for dinner, that kind of stuff,” she said.

The first pop-up market in downtown Chapel Hill was last fall, said Braedyn Mallard, manager of the Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market.

“It was exciting and cool, but there was also some room for improvement,” he said.

Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market now accepts EBT and SNAP benefits and is able to match those benefits up to $10 with the help of a grant from the Bert’s Bees Foundation.

“Our food stamp program has taken off,” Mallard said. “We started accepting food stamps last July.”

Mallard said the farmers’ market has been working to help welcome downtown Chapel Hill residents.

“This environment is not always the most accessible for folks,” Mallard said. “Folks can start to feel more comfortable with our market and know what we can offer them.”


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