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
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
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
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
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
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
- chicken salad
- 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!
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
10. Special Events Throughout the Year
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
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
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