Articles

History of the Coppell Farmers Market

By Sayed Juneja, CHS Teen Volunteer with the Market

Running annually from spring to Thanksgiving on a weekly basis and twice monthly through the winter, the Coppell Farmers Market (CFM) is an integral part of city life. Located in the Old Town Coppell area and near the new businesses by Main Street, the CFM has a unique historical aura. First established in 2002, the farmers market now serves nearly 2000 customers every Saturday. Features that include a shaded pavilion with indoor and outdoor booths, a playground, public restrooms, and an interactive fountain area, and several restaurants in close proximity have helped the CFM become one of the most popular farmers markets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. However the CFM did not always enjoy this level of success.

The Coppell Farmers Market was initially developed in order to provide additional commerce and activity to the Old Coppell area. Neighboring cities such as Grapevine and Dallas already had farmers markets. City officials recognized the need to support the community and to tie in local garden clubs and nurseries in order to benefit local businesses. In 2002, the City asked for volunteers that would oversee the creation of the market. A group of volunteers was formed and met over the next few months. Jim Witt, the Coppell City Manager at the time, facilitated the creation of the market, with resources such as “land for the market, a city phone number, electrical outlets, paving, and other essential things,” reported Patrick Daly, an original and continuing CFM volunteer. The area had to be large enough to support at least 25-35 vendors as well as parking and space for trucks. The first location was on a dirt lot next to Coppell Deli and is where Local Diner sits today.With the new development’s infrastructure construction, the CFM was moved to a transition site one block southeast at the corner of Burns and S. Coppell Rd. in the fall of 2011.

After months of planning and deliberation, the market’s grand opening was set for June 7, 2003. Volunteers posted signs in various Coppell locations such as the library, the aquatic center, and local stores. The response was incredible- by ten in the morning all the vendors were sold out, yet there were still plenty of customers left!

In the third season of the market, one of the vendors, Jack Finley “suggested that [the market] provide free barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, and soft drinks as gratitude to our customers” (Patrick Daly); this began the annual tradition of Customer Appreciation days. Hard 8 Barbecue helped with several of these days and now provides fall chef demonstrations.

Now in the 12th year, with over 44 different vendors, the CFM continues to serve customers throughout the DFW metroplex with a wide variety of fresh foods and artisan products. In March of 2014, the CFM opened in a new location in the square in Old Town, at 768 W. Main Street. In addition to its new facility, the CFM has received positive press coverage from the Dallas Morning News and currently has excellent reviews on Yelp and other social media sites.

Today, the CFM continues its tradition of community outreach by sponsoring customer and vendor appreciation days, chef demonstrations, hosting a rotating nonprofit booth, and by reaching out to people through its email newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and Pinterest accounts. For those who are interested in volunteering with the CFM, please visit the volunteer page of our website for more information.

The Coppell Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon at 768 W. Main Street in Old Town Coppell. Lone Star Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and bank ATM cards can be used to purchase wooden market tokens (market cash) at the CFM info booth in the center of the pavilion. For the most current market news and events, join the Coppell Farmers Market on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to a weekly email update on our website.

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