13 things happening at the Market at Pepper Place in 2019, including an OvenBird chef demo on May 4

Birmingham, Pepper Place, Pepper Place Market, Saturday Market, farmers markets

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A view of Market at Pepper Place through a bevy of fresh flower bouquets
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The first outdoor market of the year happens at the Market at Pepper Place on Saturday, April 13, 7AM-noon, rain or shine. Find out what’s in store this year at the Market.

Season 2019 at the Market

1. Live Music

Catch live music at two stages, one on the porch off the big parking lot and one on 29th Street South. Here’s the lineup for April 13:

  • Blues masters Debbie Bond and Radiator Rick, on the Front Porch Stage, sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama
  • The Oxymorons, on the 29th Street Stage, sponsored by Dr. Pepper
Photo blues musicians Debbie Bond, hold a guitar, and Radiator Rick. Both wear sunglasses. The pair is scheduled to play at the Market at Pepper Place 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 13
Debbie Bond and Radiator Rick. Photo submitted

2. Innovative Farming Techniques

High tunnels, also known as hoop houses, are essentially unheated greenhouses that allow farmers to extend the growing season. From April-May and September-December, when traditional producers’ selections are less available, the Market at Pepper Place is welcoming three new farmers in 2019 who use these techniques for year-round harvesting.

3. Early Spring Bounty

Asparagus at Market at Pepper Place 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama
Photo submitted

Early strawberries and fresh asparagus are in season NOW. Get ’em while the gettin’s good.

“Asparagus plants take several years to get established and start producing, and we’re excited to have beauties offered by Mt. Meadows Farm in Columbiana and Habersham Farm in Mentone.”

Leigh Sloss-Corra, Executive Director of the Market at Pepper Place
Strawberries at Market at Pepper Place 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Photo submitted

Later in the season, Market vendor Petals from the Past will offer heirloom and other varieties of berries, apples, pears, figs, persimmons, kiwis, muscadines and more fruits that you can’t get anywhere else.  

Mountain Sun Farms from Mentone will offer celery, which is a big deal. While supermarket celery may be ubiquitous on crudité trays, it’s pretty rare to come upon locally grown—and therefore fresher and tastier—celery in Alabama.

4. Local Farm-Raised Shrimp

Photo of a basket full of raw Sumter County Shrimp being poured into a bin
Photo via Sumter County Shrimp’s Instagram

Coming this fall, Sumter County Shrimp will sell its farm-raised Alabama shrimp to the Market at Pepper Place. The succulent shellfish will round out the meat and poultry offered by other vendors.

5. Delectable Ready-to-Eat Foods

Pudding Amore Banana Pudding at Market at Pepper Place 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama
Pudding Amore Banana Pudding. Photo submitted

If you thought the Market at Pepper Place’s prepared food vendors offered a wide variety before (and they did), the 2019 season will knock your socks off. New food producers joining the mix at the Market this year will offer:

  • fresh prepared salads
  • crab cakes
  • flavored bacon
  • healthy snacks
  • queso
  • chicken salad
  • guacamole
  • Indian cuisine
  • pork skins
  • sweet treats including macaroons, cookies, pound cake, cheesecake, gelato and even gluten-free and paleo baked goods

6. Chef Demos—starting with OvenBird!

Photo shows a brick hearth with fire, a table full of fresh produce and an wooden plaque bearing the logo for OvenBird, a restaurant based in the Pepper Place district in Birmingham, Alabama
We can’t wait to see what OvenBird cooks up at the Market at Pepper Place the first weekend of May 2019. Photo via OvenBird’s Facebook page

Weekly chef demos and maker talks for the Market at Pepper Place 2019 season will begin May 4 at 9AM and 10AM respectively. As always, demos take place on 29th Street South. First up, a demo by OvenBird. You can check out the full lineup here.

7. Even More Local Makers

New makers on the Market’s vendor list will bring handmade knives, leather goods, coloring books about the Birmingham area, candles, soaps and skin care to the Market.

8. Outdoor Spin Classes by Ignite Cycle

Photo of women on indoor bikes at Ignite Cycle, located in the Pepper Place in Birmingham, Alabama
Ignite Cycle. Photo by Christine Hull for Bham Now

Ignite Cycle recently opened in their new permanent home at Pepper Place. On April 20 and April 27, 2019, Ignite Cycle will set up outdoor spin cycle classes during the Market. Find them in the chef demo area off 29th Street South.

9. Small Business Workshops

Photo of people attending a mall business workshop at The Lumbar in Pepper Place in Birmingham, Alabama
Small business workshop at The Lumbar. Photo submitted

Throughout the year, the Market will hold free workshops for Market vendors and other small businesses in the Birmingham area, in partnership with BBVA Compass. Those take place bimonthly on Tuesday mornings and sometimes Tuesday evenings, and are held at The Lumbar. Email info@pepperplacemarket.com for more info.

10. Special Events Throughout the Year

Photo of Dia de los Muertos nighttime celebration at Pepper Place in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2018.
Dia de los Muertos at Pepper Place. Photo by Bham Now

The Kids Tent and Misting Tent will start up in May for the Market’s 2019 season. Book signings and guest speakers will be held throughout the year, too, either outside in the chef demo area or in The Lumbar, around the corner. Here’s what else you can look forward to in 2019:

  • Wellness Days (four days throughout the year)
  • Mother’s Day Tea Party and Photo Booth (May)
  • Senior Market Day (July)
  • Giant Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry (August)
  • Women in Food Month with all female chef demos (September)
  • Dia de los Muertos festivities (November)
  • Holiday Market (November-December)

11. Prep for 20th Anniversary in 2020

Photo shows a red banner that reads Birmingham's Pepper Place Entertainment District established 1988
Photo submitted

Can you believe the Market at Pepper Place is entering its 20th year? Expect big things as the Market ramps up for the big anniversary in 2020. While we can’t spoil all the surprises, we can tell you to expect a report on the Market’s economic impact by the University of Alabama’s business school by the end of this summer.

13. A Big Happy Family of Tenants

Photo of the storefront of Stone Hollow Farmstead at Pepper Place in Birmingham, Alabama
FarmStand by Stone Hollow Farmstead at Pepper Place. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

Many of Pepper Place’s brick-and-mortar tenants are open on Market days, complementing the Market’s offerings and programming schedule. They include The Lumbar, The Red Cat, Cantina, FarmStand, OvenBird, The Collective, Thrive Clay Studio and even Aero Joe Pilates. You can also thank Pepper Place tenants for sponsoring the Market Misting Tent, which provides cool refreshment for visitors on hot days. (Thanks, guys.)

“We are a big—and growing—happy family down at Pepper Place.  Everybody gets along and learns how to help each other. The community and successes of Pepper Place and The Market are really a model that more businesses and entities should try to emulate. We are proud of what we’ve achieved together and wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else!”

Leigh Sloss-Corra, Executive Director of the Market at Pepper Place

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