York Central Market
In the year 1754, the Population of York became so great that the residents felt it would be much more convenient to provide a public market in the city. In order to better serve the masses when it came to grocery needs and other goods. The town leaders complied and ordained that every Wednesday and Saturday of the year, would be deemed market days.
On January 14, 1888, The York Central Market was first constructed as the landmark seen today costing $45,000. In 1977, the York Central Market House was added to Pennsylvania’s Inventory of Historic Places. The York Central Market takes up a whopping 35,000 square feet today.
Today, the York Central Market prides itself not only on being a local market for farmers and other vendors but a place where Yorkers can have fond memories of the Market and all of its traditions. The farmers and vendors believe in buying fresh merchandise and sell their product locally in order to provide quality services that benefit their surrounding communities. The York Central Market also serves as a place where communities can thrive, not just as successful vendors; but also as community leaders that provide local goods to surrounding communities which is often lost in mass production industries.
It was always the farmer’s market’s goal to be a sustainable business and provide fresh food for the masses in York ever since January 14, 1888. In theory, it makes sense that this would be what people preferred. However, today farmers markets everywhere, not just the York Central Market, have struggled with finances. This is especially relevant today when they are competing with corporate grocery stores. Competition is nothing new for businesses; it is unfortunate that consumers prefer chemically grown produce compared to local, organic produce. Local markets such as the York Central Market should be a more integral part of local economies everywhere.
In order for more community oriented shopping to happen, there needs to be more community-minded people who are willing to support local markets. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way our daily shopping is done. Sure it’s easy to do your grocery shopping at Wal-Mart when it’s cheaper and probably more convenient. However, corporations such as these have their effects on the local economy, which many people do not realize.
Patrons also miss out on unique items and the pure wholesomeness of farmer market products no matter how “fresh” corporate stores claim to be. The demand for fresh and local food is increasing on the bright side but a boost in awareness of markets is definitely needed. This is what the humble 16 farmers who started the York Central Market would have wanted.
York’s Initiatives for a Bustling Market
1. Sustaining the Fresh and Local Tradition
The York Central Market is fully aware of it’s lack of attendants, despite the buy Fresh and Local trends. They are taking steps to further advocate their goals, not only for their market but also for all farmers’ markets nation-wide.
Recently, the York Central Market has joined the Market’s board. They also hired new board members who get involved with events in York to better outreach to the community. Events such as “Go Green in the City” (a yearly festival that celebrates going green) and YorkFest (a local art festival in York) for an example.
These actions not only help the community but they also help to make their presence better know in the city and encourage York residents to go. It’s surprising how many people actually live in York never even think to go to the York Central Market or haven’t been there in years, writing it off as, “a thing of the past.” Such efforts as these will eventually spark a new energy in the community of York.
The board members of the York Central Market, Led by new operations manager Annette Fisher, have also teamed up with the Food Trust organization who help revitalize markets all over the United States.
2. New and exciting vendors
The York Central Market is nothing new of course, its only been there for 125 years. However as recent as earlier this year, the York Central Market welcomes new shops and faces with a big smile. Stephen Walker and his girlfriend Ginger Hollidge own one of the newest stands, Pepper’s Grille, at the market. All of their recipes came from both of their families and whatever they could rustle up basically. They offer delicious choices such as the bacon steak sandwich for an example. They also offer other bizarre dishes like jalapeno popper grilled cheese, maple bacon-wrapped cream cheese cinnamon buns, apple rosemary pulled pork sandwiches and Miss Pepper's homemade coleslaw.
Pepper’s Grille is just one part of the post renovation revolution that is now the York Central Market. Some other key new comers are Good’s Mini Donuts who specialize in bite sized donuts drizzled in their home made glaze. They also serve coffee from Lancaster. The other is Sharmini’s Kitchen, which serves Malaysian food.
This is a great step forward for The Central Market especially considering that their attempts for acquiring new vendors was put on hold for almost a year during their upgrade and renovation phase, according to Casi Babinchak, chief operations officer at the market. Also sometime this year, another Asian food stand will open called Tasa. This will fill more empty spaces in the market. She also claims that the market is about 85% full and more applications are being processed.
3. The Fresh and Local Flavor Campaign
The York Central Market has gotten aboard the Fresh Local Flavor Campaign, which should also help further their revitalization efforts like many Lancaster sustainable businesses. The fresh local flavor campaign has won a national award for its design and is very familiar within the sustainable business community. The Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign is administered by the FoodRoutes Network. The York Central Market also works with other various local organizations dedicated to help farmer’s markets.
So Why Buy Local?
According to the Buy Fresh Buy Local Food guide you should buy local because, beyond strengthening our local, supporting the endangered family farm, improving your family’s health and protecting the environment, local food, picked at the peak of ripeness, just tastes better!
Some more reasons you should buy local is to strengthen your local food system by increasing the demand for locally produced foods. If farmers markets and the local food industry can get more media exposure then it will be easier for them to connect with local institutions such as, households, schools, restaurants, hospitals, and more. Direct-to-market farming must also be implemented more into society. This is when the food is grown on the farm and directly made available to consumers as the name literally implies.
If nothing else then consumers should keep in mind the farmer is an integral part of this country and they are not very well appreciated. Local farmers earn less than 16 cents of the consumer’s food dollar. Farmers are also scarce, fewer than 1% of America identifies themselves as farmers for a living. Also the average age of a farmer is 65-years-old. Corporate farms such as Land O’ Lakes for an example, are the only ones flourishing from farming in this day and age.
Where to Buy Fresh and Local
The following is a list of businesses in York that are partnered with the Buy Fresh Buy Local (BFBL) Campaign.
Brown’s Orchards & Farm market
The Busy Bee
Central Family Restaurant
Central Market House
Charles IIyes Family Inc.
Dillsburg farmers Market
Esaan Thai Restaurant
Family Tree Farm
Flinchbaughs’s Orchard 7 Farm market
Healthy World Café
Horn Farm Center
J-Mar Farms John Wright Restaurant
Juliana’s in the Village
Logan’s View Winery
Maple Lawn Farms
Markets at Shrewsbury
Miller Plant Farm
Naylor Wine Cellars
New Eastern Market
Nuts About Granola
Ravens Blueberry Farm Shaw Orchards side by side Farm
Sonnewald Natural foods
Texas Longhorn Beef Co.
Triple “A” Dwarf Acres
Twin Pine Farm country Store
Swamp fox Farm Windy hill Orchard & Farm
Focusing on the inside-out
Inside operations and vendor recruiting practices are also being revamped in order to further improve the central Market as well. According to the York Central Market there’s been an upward spike in the number of small farms in York County alone. Therefore the real challenge is getting them to vend at the local market.
Focusing on the People
Most importantly thefate of the Central Market depends on the people who attend it above the all other things. The Market itself is like its own communal hub. Challenges around urban health and nutrition. Ever since it’s roots this is what the farmer’s market has been and should always continue to be.
Customers and vendors should be building a relationship over time unlike commercial retailers. This is what makes the market truly genuine when compared with your Wal-Marts and commercial grocery stores.
It is also a place to be seen and heard in real time. Overall it is a place to be seen, a social gathering spot for neighbors.
The board of directors is striving to make not only the Central Market but downtown York more vibrant than ever and improve urban living. The goal is to make everyone feel comfortable at the York Central Market, urban folk and not. To put it simply, the York Central Market should the spot to “hang out.”
While shoppers are hanging out, it is also important for them to learn something about sustainability and realize how truly important it is support your local farmer’s markets. Who know? They may even become interested in becoming a vendor themselves.
The Central Market also wants to ensure that their all of their vendors are selling their products at affordable prices in order help patrons and further encourage them to shop at the York Central Market.
In addition to further helping York residents with grocery shopping, programs such as the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and the Healthy Farms and Healthy School program-both help low-income residents financial assistance and education to access fresh and local foods that are good for their health.
National Tourist consultant Roger Brooks made a stop in York to advise and create the Market Square District. Think of it as York’s gathering area sort of like a Union square in New York City. This one-block-long area is packed with style and attractions such as the Strand-Capitol theater, which has had an increase in live shows and music performances, new apartments that are becoming more vacant every day, and not the to mention the York Revolution Minor League Baseball stadium. All of this will help the York central market in tandem, as the downtown area becomes busier. Roger Brooks himself said,
“I firmly believe that York's Central Market could and should be THE primary anchor business for downtown York. It easily has that potential. Markets are increasingly the lifeblood, focal point, and central gathering place for cities throughout North America. In fact, markets are often credited with revitalizing downtowns. York has one of the most historic markets in the nation, and with its new leadership, some needed capital improvements, and some other vendor-related changes, it could be a showcase for markets throughout the country.”
Small cities, like York, have the strongest impact when it comes to the impact of farmers markets according to studies. For an example a New York City study showed that an additional 86 cents is earned for every dollar spent on market operations. The overall economic impact is $1.86 for the region.
Numbers are now currently being calculated for York and research is estimating that if the local markets continue to remain local and flourish then the local economy can really flourish because smaller cities like York tend to have more farmer’s markets.
Researchers also claim the national food retailers are hosting local temporary farmers markets in their parking lots in order to keep up with the overflow that local markets attract.
The Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network
Based in Marietta Pennsylvania, The Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network or the commonly known as the SSBN is an organization that supports sustainable Businesses in York and Lancaster counties. They strive to support a local economy that enriches people and the environment altogether. The SSBN is a nonprofit network whose main goal is to ultimately create an economy that can sustain itself.
The SSBN defines Local as meaning that 50% of a business ownership lives in York or Lancaster and is privately owned. The businesses also must practice and be passionate about sustainability.
In general, this is referring to farms that are sustaining healthy soil while producing healthy food and being profitable at the same time. By doing this then naturally the farm becomes an integral part of the economic community. Sustainable farmers and business owners should always mindful of this. The sustainable farmer should also seek to be in perfect harmony with the environment.
This article will not only highlight the York Central Market but more specifically it will highlight key vendors who are not only fresh and local but are involved with the SSBN at the York Central Market. They are also pioneers of sorts with their unique business and business practices.
1. Sunrise Soaps
Thirteen years ago a woman by the name of Christina “Chris” Clarke read a book on soap making. She then proceeded to put down the book and decided to actually start making her own soap as a hobby. Having been educated on the irritating chemicals used in corporate soaps we typically see in stores, she knew she wanted to differentiate herself by making handcrafted organic soaps and running a sustainable business. So now on 29 N Beaver Street downtown York Pa. You can buy all natural soaps at Sunrise Soaps.
What being a “Soaper” means to Christina
Chris’ unique soaps are made naturally sans the harsh chemicals commercial soapers use. Instead she uses more natural base ingredients such as cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil. Commercial soaps on the other hand contain chemicals like sodium sulfate that strip soaps of their natural moisture. As she puts it, “They monkey around with the process.” They do this in order to make mass-producing of soaps easier for them while skipping out on quality. To Chris, washing with regular soap is similar to washing with detergent; detergent like laundry and dish detergent for an example.
When the glycerin in soap is stripped then there goes its moisture. This is classified as low quality soap, which is what everyone is buying. This is what leads to dryness and itchiness with some people. The glycerin is then used in commercial lotions. Chris claims her soap solves 90 to 95 percent of skin problems because of the natural moisture retained from not stripping the glycerin. Commercial soaps simply cannot compare to Chris’ soap when it comes to quality.
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Naked packaging? What does that even mean? My question as Chris, owner of Sunrise Soaps, explains the sustainability of her business. This was truly unconventional for a business I thought. Sustainable Businesses like this at Downtown York’s Central Market are changing the way we think about business and sustainability. Sure recycled packaging is nice but if more companies can find a way to sustain themselves off of no packaging whatsoever then sustainability can be further optimized. Granted the handcrafted soaps created in this establishment are non-produce or in other words, not food. If it were food it would undoubtedly have to be packed in some sort of way. Still, this uncanny business model that Chris practices is something to really admire. She also does notuse label on her soap however patrons can request labels if they get confused.
Chris also rewards patrons in a way for bringing their own used containers to take her products home in. She doesn’t only specialize in crafting hard soap but she makes lotions and various liquid soaps as well. Bring in your own container for any of her products and just like that, she takes a dollar off
of your total purchase. I believe that more food distributors (with certain foods) and stores can practice such methods as well. This way they can focus solely on keeping their product fresh in-store and save money as well as our earth’s resources more importantly.
These are the essential oil soaps offered at Sunrise Soaps for fair prices,
· Cedarwood with Pumice
· Lavender, Orange & Lemongrass
· Lavender, Peppermint & Rosemary Poppy Seeds
· Orange, Patchouli, Lavender & Clove
· Patchouli & Spearmint
· Patchouli & Vanilla (fragrance)
· Peppermint, Lemongrass & Pumice
· Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
· Spearmint Eucalyptus
· Spearmint, Lime & Orange
· Tea Tree
Here are some organic fragrance oil soaps
· Apple Jack & Peel
· Bahama Vanilla
· Blackberry Vanilla
· Coconut & Lime Verbena
· Dragon's Blood
· Egyptian Musk
· Feng Shui Water
· Good Karma
· Green Tea & Cucumber
· Hawaiian Plumeria
· Japanese Cherry Blossom
· Jasmine Vanilla
· Lime Margarita
· Midnight Rose
· Oatmeal, Milk & Honey
· Ocean Breeze
· Red Currant
· Sandalwood Amber
· Sandalwood Oak moss
· Sandalwood Vanilla
· Tobacco Flower
· Tomato Leaf
· Vanilla Grapefruit
· White Tea & Ginger
These are Chris’ specialty soaps. These soaps are specifically crafted for a purpose or to treat certain ailments.
· Baby's Body Bar Unscented Goat's Milk Soap
Ingredients: saponified oils of coconut, olive, palm kernel, soybean, rice bran, castor; shea butter & cocoa butter; goat’s milk. NO FRAGRANCE.
· Goat's Milk Facial Soap with Clay: a shea butter facial soap with a main ingredient of Goats Milk.
· Charcoal: This deep cleansing bar contains charcoal powder which helps cleanse the skin.
· Carrot Bar: a smooth & rich yellow-orangish bar packed with 100% organic carrot juice
· Honey Bee Lavender: specialty soap made with honey, beeswax & lavender
· Rhassoul Clay: Rhassoul clay great for detoxification.
· Poison Ivy: This natural soap takes care of poison ivy infections instantly.
· Neem Oil: An oil that originates from the Neem Tree in India. It is also known as the, "Sacred Tree," "Heal All," "Nature's Drugstore," and "Village Pharmacy.” Neem is an antibacterial herb and comes from the that is helpful with acne, has insecticidal properties, is antibacterial and antifungal, soothing and moisturizing.
· Castile Soap: a scentless soap
· Bug Repellant Soap: Chris’ specialty bug repellant soap.
· Jack's Back Dog Soap: All natural dog soap. Specifically made for flea and tick protection.
· Happy Henna Shampoo Bar: One of Sunrise Soap’s popular organic shampoos.
Chris also has all sorts of novelty soaps. Including a bacon scented soap. She further showcases her soaping talents with her seasonal soaps for an example. For the fall season she crafted pumpkin shaped bath fizzy. She also has other fun shapes from skateboards to cupcakes.
Overall Chris simply has a passion for organic soaps and has a personal dogma that the right organic soap can fix just
about any skin or hair problem you may encounter. This is why she seeks not only sell soaps but takes joy in educating all who wish to try her soaps.
2. Nuts About Granola®
A strong advocate of sustainability, a Triathlete, entrepreneur, and not to mention the owner of downtown York’s Nuts About Granola® Shoppe®, Sarah Lanphier does all of this and more with her business partner Gayle Lanphier. What’s their specialty? All-natural, handmade granola of course. However, they just aren’t any typical granola shop. Nuts About Granola® believes in the direct-to-market creed and buying fresh and local. Their business model is molded around it. Sarah and Gayle are a quintessential example of how a successful sustainable business should operate.
Nuts About Granola® started off as a college project for Sara Lanphier. Growing up, Sarah and her family always ate healthy natural foods. After graduating from Elizabethtown College, where she majored in business as well as studying marketing and entrepreneurship, she continued with the project and turned it into her own business.
She started off as a vendor directly inside of the York Central Market House. After operating there for almost 5 years she finally worked her way to having her own store literally right around the corner on Philadelphia Street, York PA. Since opening her own shop she was able to do bulk granola like the commercial grocery stores. Her granola can now be better distributed while saving on packaging as well. Nuts About Granola® also makes wholesome parfaits.
Another fun thing people enjoy about Nuts About Granola® is not only how great their granola tastes or how fun it is to make if you purchase one of their baking kits, but it’s also the creative names that they give to their delicious flavors.
Here’s a sample of what patrons can choose from at Nuts About Granola® and the names of them should resonate with their taste buds:
Plain Jane®- Their bread and butter Granola of sorts. It’s simply flavored with honey (which is a base for most granola) and peanut butter.
College Staple®- A fitting name because it amazingly taste just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich although it contains dried cranberries. The granola is peanut butter flavored however.
Lover’s Combo®- Chocolate and Peanut are usually good together no matter how you put it, however Sarah found a way to make the duo healthy by granola-izing it
Nuts about Buying Fresh and Local
As an avid member of the SSBN, Sarah prefers to gather her products and ingredients from as local as possible. This is not always possible but they do their best to source from the USA. She also distributes her products to other local businesses in return through co-packing and her products can be frequently found in other local stores including the Lemon Street Market in Lancaster. The honey in her store all comes right from Lancaster and Peanut butter from Harrisburg. Syrup, apples, and other fresh products are all from Pennsylvania as well. Sarah tries to stay as local as possible but some ingredients are just not obtainable in our region. For an example, pumpkins seed are hard to obtain locally in bulk for business owners to use according Sarah. This is surprising since pumpkins seem to be everywhere especially around Halloween however, from a business point of view the seeds are obtained from places as far as China. This is no good and according to the Nut About Granola® website there are two valid reasons you should buy local,
1. Economic; when using local
ingredients produced by independent operations, more tax revenue (73% compared to 43% of a non local operation to be exact) and means for reinvestments stay within the community
2. Environmental; the closer the source, the fewer negative environmental externalities are produced by transportation.
The 50/50 campaign
Even Sarah understands that it is not always possible to be 100% local all of the time. This is why she has launched the 50/50 campaign. Nuts About Granola® is advocating that people at least eat one local whole food for every non local food that they eat. This is a much more realistic and practical way to get people to buy more local foods.
An article from digital citizen helped inspire the 50/50 campaign as they provide a critical take on buying Local. They encourage people to buy local but they also claim that doing so is only for the local economy or money in other words. It is just simply impractical to avoid buying non-local altogether and then claim that it helps the environment because when it comes to that greater measures need to be taken into account.
People should eat local to help farmers and for their own health. This also cuts out the middleman and for once the farmer doesn’t get the short end of the stick financially. The article from digital citizen also criticizes what “Food Miles.” Food Miles is a concept that believes that fuel energy is being wasted large part due to long distances traveled for agricultural trade in the USA since a lot of food is not distributed locally.
Therefore concepts such as food miles may have people buying locally for all the wrong reasons and not truly realizing the cause. Nuts About Granola® realizes this and wants to help people realize realistic local food buying practices with the 50/50 campaign.
3. M&M Farms
M&M Farms first acquired their Land in 1993. They bought 55 acres of land to use for farming in Codorus Township, York County Pennsylvania. The only catch was that they had no prior farming experience.
Nevertheless they proceeded to purchases horses and other livestock. At first they would only keep pigs and occasional steer in their freezer. Their livestock was free range and they would give the eggs from their chickens to friends and family.
The owners together with their children raised their first herd of angus cattle for a cattle show.
After having success there, the owners of M&M Farms then took interest in Scottish Highland Cattle and was intrigued by their appearance. Subsequently they purchased some Scottish Highland Cattle and that was the begging of their breeding. They also kept breeding the angus cows and they now inter-breed the Highland Cows with angus cattle creating cattle with larger carcasses and a providing a leaner beef product.
Our herd grows every year and we are continually working on provided the best living environment for our cattle along with the best grass fed beef product for our customers.
We commit to provide the highest quality Scottish Highland grass fed beef possible at a fair price. The measure of our success will be found in the trust we build in the customers we supply.
To our livestock, we commit to provide a humane stress free and natural living environment, allowing free access to roam our pastures as they please. We will invest in the highest standards for the proper care of all our animals.
At M&M Farm we are committed to excel in a quality product raised in a natural, humane and stress free environment (m&mfarms.com).
Since they became established as a cattle breeding farm, M&M farms has been all local harvesting all of their beef from their Farm In Cordorus Township, Glen Rock to be precise, in York county. Their stand in the York Central Market provides shoppers with some of the freshest beef and chicken they can get their hands on locally. They also sell homemade breads and beef jerky that is all natural.
4. Dietz Produce
Based in Hellam Township, in York County, you have Dietz Produce. Dietz produce is a family owned farm and you can find David Dietz running his road-side stand on Lincoln Highway in Hellam or at the Central Market House, Downtown York.
Dietz’s produce does not use chemicals in their produce but they are not certified organic. The milk offered does not contain added hormones unlike commercial milk products and the cheese comes from local Amish farms. All of his livestock, mainly chickens and goats are free range and grass-fed. Some more local products such as granola are also obtained locally from York or Lancaster.
Involvement with Terra Cycling
In co ordinance with being local Dave Dietz practices sustainability as well. He uses Terra Cycling for some of his recycling needs. Recycling that he referred to as “Odds and Ends” recycling. Typically when you think of recycling, paper plates, cardboard, and plastic bottles come to mind. Dietz getsmore detailed and recycles the plastic bottle caps from his returnable milk bottles.
Here’s a bit about Terra Cycling
In 2001, Tom Szaky, a 20-year-old Harvard Freshman, began producing organic fertilizer by packaging liquified “worm poop” in used soda bottles. TerraCycle is now one of the fastest-growing green companies in the world ever since Tom’s innovation.
TerraCycle’s goal is raise environmental awareness and be a leader in taking action for the betterment of the environment. TerraCycle seeks to reach out to be the main trustee for all corporations, institutions, families and schools. Overall they would like to promote a
green lifestyle TerraCycle is now an awarded international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products. TerraCycle is widely considered the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable, post-consumer waste.
TerraCycle works with over 100 major brands in the U.S. and 22 countries overseas. Products that would usually end up in landfills all around the world now get taken care of by TerraCycle. TerraCycle innovates their waste into new, materials and products that are available for purchase online and through major retailers (www.terracycle.com).
Dietz also practices repackaging and encourages customers to reuse old bottles as well. A lot of his cardboard boxes are non-wax thus easier to recycle. Wax boxes make the recycling process harder because of the chemicals in the wax.
Dietz’s produce is a 4-season producer. This means that they produce year-round for the most part. They deliver about once a week to local Dave Dietz himself is out on the fields every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8am-2pm you can find Dietz at his vendor stand in the York Central Market. The bulk of his product is sold here consisting of, grass-fed milk, Big Sky bread which is made with organic flour, granola from Dallastown (located in York), eggs, a wide variety of vegetables including, Tomatoes, different herbs and spices, and even mushrooms. You can also find raw honey; it even contains the honeycomb inside.