More than a year after opening, Union Station is a destination in its own right. And this weekend, in addition to the usual locals, travelers, and tourists bustling through the grand space, the site will come alive with a pop-up fall farmers’ market.
This isn’t just any farmers’ market; it’s an offshoot of the celebrated Boulder County Farmers’ Markets (BCFM). Unlike many markets around town, at which vendors can buy wholesale from a producer and then resell, the Harvest Market at Union Station invites producers only. That means that everything you see on the table is grown, harvested, or created by the man or woman standing behind it.
“For us it is a no brainer, at least in spirit, because Union Station is a transit hub,” executive director Brian Coppom says of the opportunity. “You have people from all walks of life going through the station every day, and this will be a great opportunity to reach those people and give locals a direct connection with the local growers.”
The market became a reality when Alex Seidel, owner and executive chef of Mercantile Dining & Provision at Union Station, approached BCFM with his vision for a growers-only market on his front patio. Seidel, who sources a lot of produce from his own farm, has been visiting the markets in Boulder and Longmont for years, but wanted to share the value of the direct farmer connection with his own community.
“Having a conversation with these people and seeing where your food comes from is so important,” Coppom says. “The taste and texture of the food will be superior, but there will also be a story behind it.”
This weekend’s market is a trial run. There will be 22 local vendors, a foot-stomping bluegrass performance from Masontown (who snagged runner-up at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival), and fresh bites from the kitchens of Stoic & Genuine, Mercantile Dining & Provision, and Snooze A.M. Eatery.
If the vendors are well received, BCFM hopes to bring in even more local farmers for a more permanent, weekly market in 2016. As Coppom says, “This market will take the food culture in Denver to the next level.”
Join the fun: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St.