Expanding Nashville Farmer's Market thriving - WSMV Channel 4

Expanding Nashville Farmer's Market thriving

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The past 10 years have been a tumultuous ride for the Nashville Farmer's Market. Things were great, then business started to decline.

Four years ago, the flood almost did them in. But today, things are looking up.

One glance at the Farmer's Market's lunch crowd and it's clear the vibe is changing.

"There's a fantastic energy," said David Berry of Nashville. "You see lots of kids running around, moms with strollers walking outside."

The addition of new restaurants like Sloco and the obvious signs of change have infused a sense of excitement and hope.

"I see the light at the end of the tunnel," said Tasha Kennard, executive director of the Nashville Farmer's Market. "The community has told us what they want to see from this market, and we've got a really great plan to improve this market."

More local farmers, artisans and craftsmen have been added to fill up any open spaces. One big change is the addition of the market's first craft beer station, called the Picnic Tap, launched by first-time entrepreneur Eric Woodard.

"It was a surprise to me to come down to the Farmer's Market and see all the things going on here, but no craft beer. It's such a popular category," Woodard said.

In the coming weeks, Woodard will offer 15 varieties of local micro-brew, along with locally made craft beers you won't find anywhere else.

"I really saw this an opportunity to bring the products that the brewers out of Nashville are producing to this environment as it continues to grow and evolve," Woodard said.

All of the expansion in and around the Farmer's Market has created what seems like a perfect recipe for success.

"We've been working with the mayor's office and our board of directors on transforming this market into a place that the community will be delighted with and surprised and have the experience they've been asking for, for a very long time," Kennard said.

For years, the Farmer's Market has been subsidized by Metro. The hope is that these changes will make the market self-sustaining, and even profitable.

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