Our Mission

Market Central supports local farms, farmers markets, and entrepreneurs and connects them to the community. Our goal is to enrich our health, the environment, and the local economy, and to promote social and cultural diversity.

We are passionate about the roles that a local, public market can play in a community as:

  • A source for fresh, local foods
  • A venue for local artisans
  • A social gathering place
  • A business incubator
  • An economic driver
  • A supporter of environmentally friendly practices

Our History

Market Central, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 2003 to engage the Charlottesville City Market community through educational programs and outreach. We collaborate with the City of Charlottesville throughout the market season to provide support services that improve the quality of the market experience. 

We have a table and tent set up each Saturday at the City Market and each Wednesday at Meade Market, near the Parks & Rec Market Managers tent.  Market Central is not responsible for operating the market nor for assigning locations or collecting money.  

Market Central relies on generous donations from those vested in the Charlottesville City Markets.  Your contribution helps support our programming to continue providing classes, outreach, and financial assistance to all those connected with the Market. 

Our Policies

1. Market Central promotes the value of local and sustainably raised farm products sold at Charlottesville farmers markets. To encourage their use, we offer education in the form of recipes, classes, demonstrations, and a market newsletter. In addition to farm products, Market Central also supports the value of local prepared foods and art products at the market. 

  • Market Central is committed to holding an annual farm tour (Meet Yer Eats) as an educational tool that facilitates farm transparency and deepens the relationship between the Market community and food producers.

2. Market Central advocates for a permanent home for City Market that secures the future of the market and benefits vendors and customers, as well as the City.

3. Market Central advocates for all people having access to the healthiest food in the community. Sponsoring the SNAP and debit program is part of our outreach program.

4. Market Central is committed to the accountability and sustainability of our organization; therefore, Board education, fundraising and financial support at a level to sustain our programs are part of our mission.

5. Market Central supports continuing improvements and services to the market community by researching and advocating for implementation of best practices.

  • Because vendors are vital to a market’s existence and character, Market Central advocates for fair and transparent rules of vendor participation and Market governance, which includes some level of vendor participation in self-governance.

6. Market Central coordinates with other non-profits to achieve maximum results for our stakeholders, and to minimize overlap of services.