Fun at the Farmers Market

Fresh seasonal produce stacked on tables at local Roanoke farmers markets

Fresh, Farm-to-Table Fare is Just Minutes Away in Roanoke

Spring is officially in full swing here in the Roanoke Valley…which means it’s finally market season! The Grandin Village Farmers Market reopened for their summer season a couple weeks ago, and our favorite local vendors at the Roanoke City Market are back with their spring seasonal wares.

If you haven’t yet jumped on the farmers market bandwagon, you should really think about giving it a try. There are so many benefits to buying locally grown produce and meats: for a start, the taste can’t be beat. Local, farm-grown produce is picked at the peak of its ripeness and freshness, ensuring flavor and texture the grocery stores’ produce just can’t compete with—and without all the nasty stuff, like pesticides and waxes. And animals raised by these local farms tend to be treated much more humanely, and are raised without all those harmful hormones and antibiotics.

Luckily for us, Roanoke Valley has no shortage of farmers markets where you can take advantage of the freshest seasonal fare—a handful of which are just minutes from Gramercy’s front door. We feature just a couple of them in this article, but invite you to check out Roanoke Outside for a full list of markets in the area.

Historic Roanoke City Market

At a leisurely three minute walk from Gramercy Row, it’s difficult to get much closer to your front door than the Historic Roanoke City Market. From its beginnings in 1882, this market—the oldest continuously operating open-air market in the Commonwealth of Virginia—has provided a public space for generations of Roanoke residents to buy and sell the freshest locally grown food and hand-made artisan crafts. Here are just a few of our favorite City Market vendors:

  • Martin Farms
    The Historic Roanoke City Market is the oldest continuously operating market in the area, and Martin Farms is its oldest continuously operating vendor! With a presence at the market since 1904, this family-owned farm has developed a well-earned reputation for supplying the Valley with some of the best produce, greenhouse vegetables and plants, cage-free eggs, and fresh pork products around.
  • Walter’s Greenhouse
    Walter’s Greenhouse has been a fixture at the Market since 1982. Known for their impressive assortment of vegetable plants, herbs, and annual and perennial flowers, they’ve become a favorite among all the green thumbs in Roanoke. Their motto, “we grow and know every plant that we sell” embodies their sustainable approach to gardening and inspires a well-deserved trust and confidence in their loyal customers. If you’re looking to start your own herb garden or want to know which plants are best for your home, this is the booth to visit!
  • Upcycled Gifts
    The City Market isn’t just for food! Upcycled Gifts is one of the many vendors that features work by local artisans. Visit Joe Stanley’s booth for unique, earth-friendly jewelry, sewn items, and home accessories.
  • Local Seafood Delivery
    Charlie Counts had Virginia seafood lovers in mind when he started his family-owned business in 2010. He personally travels to Topsail Island, NC to pick up each load of fresh, local, wild-caught seafood from his friends on the coast…and we’re sure glad he does. Get to the market early on Thursday mornings, as he tends to sell out quickly!

Grandin Village Farmers Market and West End Community Market

Under the umbrella of LEAP—the Local Environmental Agriculture Project—the Grandin Village Farmers Market and West End Community Market feature 100% locally produced merchandise (LEAP adheres to the 100 mile rule, meaning all items sold at the market must originate within 100 miles of the market’s location) and focuses on organic foods produced by sustainable, humane means. Here are some of our favorite LEAP vendors:

  • Thornfield Farm
    If you eat out downtown with any regularity, you’ve probably seen their name on the menus of such local restaurants as Fortunato and Lucky. Nestled in the rolling hills of Botetourt County, this family-owned and operated farm has been providing Roanoke Valley with high-quality foods for three generations.
  • Fat Cat Baked Goodies
    We’re completely addicted to Fat Cat’s vegan and gluten-free goodies. Check them out at the markets to get your paws on delicious cookies, pies, pretzels, and much much more!
  • Really Good Donuts
    And they aren’t kidding. Hard to go wrong when you’re favorite breakfast treat is made from whole ingredients, with no preservatives or fillers.
  • Queenpin Herb Shop
    From bulk herbs to extracts to locally made salves, soaps, and the like, this is one of the best-smelling stalls in the market. Not sure what exactly you’re looking for? Be sure to ask the lovely Queenpin ladies for their advice. They know what they’re talking about!

These are just a few of our favorite Roanoke market vendors, but we’ve hardly scratched the surface of all that’s available. Go check it out for yourself to get a sense of the local flavor—both from the food and the big personalities who provide it.

Happy eating!