The Crescent City Farmers Market is the public face of Market Umbrella, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nongovernmental organization. Founded in 1995 as a part of the Twomey Center for Peace Through Justice at Loyola University New Orleans, the Market is an outgrowth and reflection of Market Umbrella's core mission to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Learning, sharing and growing, Market Umbrella cultivates community markets that utilize local resources to bolster authentic local traditions. We believe that ambitious social, health, environmental and financial goals are achieved if trust and respect are present. We envision communities of market umbrellas, like flowers in the field, opening all over the world for public good.
Formerly known as the Economics Institute, Market Umbrella began with a simple mission: to promote ecologically sound economic development in the Greater New Orleans area, particularly among family farmers and other local agricultural enterprises. The Crescent City Farmers Market has been a laboratory of sorts where our ideas have taken root and flourished. The Market gives area growers, producers and fishers a venue where they can claim a fair price for their goods and services. It has allowed a number of entrepreneurs to launch new businesses. By providing a forum where consumers and producers come together over food — a powerful cultural common denominator in the New Orleans region — the Crescent City Farmers Market promotes good health among citizens, greater social interaction between communities and sustainable economic development.
From that simple mission, however, Market Umbrella has expanded to become a mentor for public markets throughout the region and the nation. We have developed tools that other markets use to measure their own economic impact, created workshops where organizers develop funding strategies and best practices, and launched a number of programs that target specific agriculturally based enterprises. Our reach now extends well beyond the New Orleans area, but our commitment to innovation and smart economic development — and of course, eating well — is still what drives us.
The Crescent City Farmers Market is a partnership between vendors, shoppers and the host community. Our Board of Directors, composed of volunteers from each of these groups, helps steer Market policies and practices. Their generous gifts of time and talent are crucial to the Market's success.
The Crescent City Farmers Market is a project of marketumbrella.org. More than a market, the Crescent City Farmers Market is our laboratory for innovation and evaluation. Please, come meet the people behind the market.
We at the Crescent City Farmers Market are grateful for the generous support we have received over the years from individuals, corporate underwriters, organizations and foundations. Their hard work and financial support continue to help us connect local producers and consumers, and to replicate our success in other cities and nations.