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Easton Public Market Grand Opening Draws Huge Crowd

By Colin McEvoy on April 15, 2016

As hundreds gathered for the grand opening of the Easton Public Market, it became clear very quickly that it was about far more than just the food.

“Marketplaces like this have always been places not only of commerce, but of community,” Pennsylvania Rep. Bob Freeman said during the grand opening ceremony. “As far back as the days of Ancient Rome, the marketplace has been where we meet each other, where we connect, see how our families are doing, and make a bond with others in the community.”

The long-awaited indoor farmer’s market, a project of the Greater Easton Development Partnership, opened its doors for the first time on April 15, as hundreds of excited visitors from all over the Lehigh Valley and beyond sampled the meats, fish, produce from regional farms, artisan cheeses, craft beer, local wine, and other wares from 14 artisanal food vendors.

In the same style of the Reading Terminal Market, the 16,000 square-foot marketplace at 325 Northampton drew huge crowds of patrons, who dined at such vendors as 3rd & Ferry Fresh Fish, Dundore & Heister Butcher, the Chocodiem, More Than Q Barbeque, and Tolino Vineyards.

“The work of the Greater Easton Development Partnership is a model for what can be done at any redevelopment site in the Lehigh Valley,” said Andrew Kleiner, Director of Redevelopment and External Affairs at the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).

LVEDC’s redevelopment program, the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative (LVLRI), assisted with a Phase I environmental assessment for the Easton Public Market project, which is located at the former Weller Center.

“That’s what LVLRI is here for: we help folks with the ideas, plans, and drive to enable transformative redevelopment,” Kleiner said. “The Easton Public Market joins the Trifecta Building, Slate Belt YMCA, ArtsQuest, Bridgeworks, and many other projects across the region as a clear demonstration that in the world of redevelopment: anything is possible.”

The Easton Public Market features an on-site butcher, a farmstead, community spaces, a fishmonger, a demonstration kitchen, and Mister Lee’s Noodles, the Lehigh Valley’s first Asian noodle bar, operated by the owners of the Salisbury Township restaurant Bolete.

The project was expected to create about 30 jobs.

“This is a great day, not just for Easton but for the whole region,” said Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. “I think this proves that Easton is a city on the move, (and) really demonstrates the types of businesses we’re attracting.”

The marketplace builds on the success of the Easton Farmers’ Market, America’s oldest, continuous open-air market. The Easton Public Market hours will be Wednesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meter parking is free on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Panto said.

The mission of the Easton Public Market is to create a public space to engage guests, spotlight local vendors, and enrich the community. Its vision is to develop a self-sustaining cultural and culinary hub that brings people together, supports a regional food culture, educates guests, inspires new ideas, and drives the local economy.

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