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Countryside Public Market: Downtown Akron’s place for fresh, local food

Akron’s very own Public Food Market in Downtown’s Northside District is holding an opening day event Oct. 28.

With support from Knight Foundation, Countryside has begun the transformation of the Northside Loft’s former parking garage into a fun, indoor, food-centric space for everyone to enjoy the flavor of Ohio’s local food offerings. Countryside Public Market will provide over 40 small businesses economic opportunity and direct consumer access. In addition, the market will provide food assistance programing for families and individuals, giving everyone access to fresh, healthy, local food.

Countryside is leasing this nearly 10,000 square foot space from Testa Companies after brainstorming with building owner, Joel Testa.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Countryside to the Northside Marketplace. This is the final piece in a longtime vision to bring fresh, local foods and opportunities for small vendors and retailers to the downtown Akron market. We are looking forward to the many opportunities that this new partnership can bring as we create a vibrant place to live, work, and play in Downtown Akron,” Testa said.

The project is scheduled to evolve in phases over the next eighteen months, with the grand opening of the first phase this fall. Every Sunday morning Countryside will bring local farmers and food producers to the Northside District from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Drawing people out of their homes and into the community is vital to promoting a vibrant public life in Akron and creating the incentives that will keep and attract people to the city,” said Kyle Kutuchief, Knight Foundation program director for Akron. “The Public Food Market will help to advance this goal, providing a place to showcase homegrown talent and connect residents to the city and each other.”

The space will also host regular food experiences including tastings, farm-to-table dinners, food entrepreneur education, CSA pick-ups, and more. In the future, the market will be open multiple days per week offering fresh local produce, meats, baked goods, candies, cheese, dairy, flowers, herbs, jams, sauces, locally crafted beverages, hand-made kitchenware, morning brunch, and a smattering of local artisans’ works.

Countryside Public Market will be a year-round place for residents and visitors of Akron to get healthy, fresh, local food in a space that is welcoming and fun for everyone.

“The potential here is amazing. I envision this project as a way to support Countryside’s long-term viability while expanding our mission deeper into the City of Akron. Food is a catalyst for community building and Countryside is thrilled to be part of the Akron community,” said Tracy Emrick, Countryside executive director.

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