South Loop Embraces Locally Grown Food Movement

The Highly Anticipated South Loop Farmers Market Opens June 25th

CHICAGO, IL – The opening of the South Loop Farmers Market, with vendors selling local farm-fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, specialty foods and other artisan products, will be Thursday, June 25 and will continue every Thursday—rain or shine—through Oct. 8, 4-8 p.m.

The South Loop Farmers Market (SLFM), an independent market supported by the city, will be held in the parking lot adjacent to the National Historic Landmark, Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

“This is a big deal for South Loopers,” said Tina Feldstein, SLFM manager and co-founder. Feldstein, who also serves as president of the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA), South Loop’s leading community group added, “Our community has been waiting for a quality farmers market south of Roosevelt Road for years, and when the market opens June 25th, it will be a major celebration.”

The South Loop Farmers Market aims to encourage the consumption and support of locally grown, quality, and healthy foods; to promote the South Loop’s historical significance, diversity, and culture; and, to provide a location for the celebration of the food-producing regions of the Midwest. The European-style gathering will also feature prepared foods and live entertainment—fashioning the Market as the social ‘place to be’ in the South Loop Thursday nights.

“We could not be more thrilled to provide such an exciting weekly destination to bring together residents and travelers alike,” said SLFM manager and co-founder Stephanie Jokich. “We will be connecting a vibrant and thriving community with local farms and small businesses, a market with a purpose.”

A key sponsor of the SLFM is the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). McCormick Place, one of the largest institutional anchors is the South Loop, has embraced the locally grown food movement with their own 20,000-square-foot rooftop farm on the West Building. The space, which opened in 2013, is a partnership between SAVOR…Chicago, a restaurant and catering business based in the convention center, and the Chicago Botanic Garden.

With the help of apprentices who work through an educational program, the rooftop provides about 10,000 pounds of produce each year to SAVOR and promotes local sustainable agriculture and opportunities to train city residents for careers in urban agriculture. Attendees to the SLFM will enjoy SAVOR chef demonstrations showcasing their locally grown foods, as well as tours of the McCormick rooftop garden-farm.

Another key stakeholder sponsoring the market is the Central Station Development Corporation. Central Station is owned by Fogelson Companies and Forest City Enterprises, and is the developer of Central Station, a community of more than 4,500 residential units, parklands and retail development, located on 80 acres in the South Loop and Grant Park.

“We have a long-time commitment to growing and sustaining a vibrant community in the South Loop and are proud to support the SLFM,” said Timothy Desmond, president, Central Station Development Corp. “It’s just another example of the South Loop’s community pride and commitment to continue the growth of the neighborhood.”

The South Loop Farmers Market announces some of their participating vendors (more vendors still to be announced):
Steven Frank Farm
Brockway Farms
Not Just Cookies
C & D Family Farms
West Side Bee Boys
Spark of the Heart

Pleasant House Bakery
Blue Star Produce
Spirit Tea
Chocolat Uzma Sharif & Popcorn
Belli’s Juicebar
And more!


South Loop Farmers Market will begin on Thursday, June 25, 2015 and will continue every Thursday – rain or shine – through Oct. 8, 4-8 p.m. in the parking lot of the National Historic Landmark, Second Presbyterian Church, located at 1936 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. During the market, free guided tours of the architecturally significant Landmark will be offered by Friends of Historic Second Church. The market will also feature live entertainment and children’s activities during the season. South Loop Farmers Market will proudly accept EBT/SNAP.

Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) owns McCormick Place, the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America, and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel. Together, the North, South and West Buildings and Lakeside Center offer 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space. Located along Chicago’s lakefront, McCormick Place features 173 meeting rooms, the 4,249-seat Arie Crown Theater and one of the largest ballrooms in the world.

Central Station Development Corporation is owned by Fogelson Companies and Forest City Enterprises, and is the developer of Central Station, a community of over 4,500 residential units, parklands and retail development, located on 80 acres in the South Loop and Grant Park. A leading owner, operator, and developer of distinctive and diversified real estate projects in select core markets, which create value for shareholders, customers, and communities through place creation, sustainable practices, and a long-term investment perspective.

Second Presbyterian Church is one of Chicago’s architectural gems. Architect James Renwick designed the Gothic Revival exterior and Howard Van Doren Shaw and Frederic Clay Bartlett redesigned the interior in the Arts and Crafts taste. In addition to the original interior fixtures and murals, memorial windows made by William Morris & Company, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, Tiffany Studios, Church Glass & Decorating Company, McCully & Miles, and Louis J. Millet enhance the Church’s interior. In 2013, Second Presbyterian Church was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its Arts and Crafts interior.  National Historic Landmark designation is reserved for buildings and sites that are determined by the Secretary of the Interior to possess national significance in American culture and history.

Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA)
The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance mission is socially conscious and supportive neighbors creating an inclusive and welcoming community.  The PDNA, founded in 2006, has grown to provide support and representation to thousands of residents living in and around the Prairie Avenue Historic District, Central Station and Museum Park, south Michigan Avenue corridor, Motor Row, as well as the broader South Loop and Near South Side.