Spotlight: Atherton Market

Atherton Market

Atherton Market

WFAEats sat down for a chat with Lynn Caldwell, manager of Atherton Market in SouthEnd.  The market, which opened in May, attracts an average of 800 shoppers every week to purchase items from up to 30 local vendors on a market day.  The market is located at 2104 South Boulevard and is open year-round on Tuesdays from 3pm-7pm, Wednesdays from 9am-1pm, and Saturdays 9am-2pm.  Check it out!

WFAEats: Is Atherton Market different from your typical farmers’ market?
Lynn: Definitely!  The market offers much more than fruits and vegetables.  We have vendors selling flowers, baked goods, meat, seafood, bath products, artisanal chocolates – and the list goes on.  We are an indoor market, open year-round.  Our goal is to offer a one-stop shopping experience – we want you to come here for your produce and all of the other things you need to make meals at home.  Education is also very important to us – from empowering our customers in the kitchen with cooking demos, to hosting field trips we want you to learn something while you are having fun and shopping.

WFAEats: Is all the produce local?  Are all of the vendors local?
Lynn: Yes!  We don’t adhere to a strict mileage definition of “local,” but all of the produce at the market is grown by the people who sell it, and our prepared food vendors are dedicated to using as many local ingredients as possible.

WFAEats: You mentioned that Atherton Market is year round – what kinds of things can you find there in the winter months?
Lynn: There is a wider variety of produce available in the fall and winter months than in the summer, and its more versatile and nutritionally dense food.  Greens, root vegetables, and brassicas like broccoli are the darlings of cooler weather.  With season extension techniques our growers can grow more food, faster, year-round.  Meat is seasonal to some degree, though freezers extend that offering as well.  We also make room during the holidays for local artisans and crafters – every dollar that is spent with a local business or a local farmer boosts our economy and creates opportunity right here in Charlotte.

WFAEats: What future plans do you have for the market?
Lynn: We have big plans for the future!  But I also believe that it’s important in the near term to stay nimble enough to respond to supply and demand.  One of our main objectives is for the market to become more of a place where people come spend time, hang out, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and chat with friends.   To do this, we plan to add indoor seating to make it more inviting – to create a sense of place and community.  We also plan to open a retail space within the market that complements our existing offerings with products from neighboring regions but still very locally focused.  Our hope is that the market will become a one-stop shopping destination that people look forward to visiting on a regular basis.  Finally, we want to diversify the market’s offerings by bringing in international vendors and a more diverse demographic of customers.

The full shopping bags and happy faces as shoppers leave the Atherton Market make it worth all the work behind the scenes to make it happen week after week.  We’ve accomplished more in a short time than I ever thought possible, and hello Charlotte, we’re just getting started!



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6 responses to “Spotlight: Atherton Market

  1. Catherine Little

    Atherton Market–another alternative for local, fresh foods, etc–great addition to Charlotte’s thriving sustainable food scene. A pleasant addition to my weekly excursions for healthy and affordable fresh foods.

  2. In the north part of the county we have The Bradford Store. On highway 73 , Huntersville. It is a great place, you should check it out. You can get fruit, veggies, dairy, meat, eggs and a varity of other items. Great fish is brought in on Saturdays
    This time of year I believe they are open Wed-Sat from 8 or 9 till 4 ?

  3. You asked for a favorite recipe? STUFFED CABBAGE

    1 head Savvoy Cabbage, leaves separated
    2. 1lb. ground beef
    1/2 cup rice
    2 large cans crushed tomatoes
    1/4 to 1/2 cup caraway seeds + 2 large tbsp .
    lemon juice
    brown sugar
    Salt & pepper to taste
    1 small can shredded sauerkraut

    put cabbage leaves into Large pot of boiling water, leave until softened and drain
    Put beef into large mixing bowl, add rice and mix well by hand. Add s/p.and sprinke a bit of caraway. Mix.
    Take about a large tbsp. of meat and rice and fill one leaf. Roll into package and close with a toothpick. Put into bottom of large pot.
    Stuff all the leaves, adding each to pot.
    Add crushed tomatoes and about 1 c. water.
    Add sauerkraut. Bring to boil, cover & lower heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.
    Uncover and add 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Taste and adjust until you think the balance is right.
    Add s/p to taste. Add water if needed to cover rolls.
    Return to heat and simmer another 15 minutes.
    Taste again.
    Serve in soupbowls w/cabbage rolls on side.

  4. Catherine Little

    Home from Atherton Market with a satchel full of fresh spicy arugula, curly kale, wild mushrooms and a loaf of Duke’s baked withrosemary and sea salt–feel a risotto coming on. Get out the good EVOO!

  5. Cheryl J

    I saw this post yesterday, so I decided to stop by this morning while I was out and about. There are lots of great products and the vendors are all very enthuiastic. The prepared food vendors were sampling their products, giving you an opportunity to try before you buy. Next time, I’ll come with a cooler and some blue ice!

  6. We appreciate time spent with us at the local markets and giving us a little spotlight. Area markets need as much media attention as it can get to help remind people of their food choices. We have so many convenience options in our fair city that people are more willing to just relax into a quick HT visit than visit a market, meet a farmer, an artisan, a new friend and pick up the things which make them live well.

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