Shopping Tips

  • The market is held outdoors, rain or shine, so come dressed accordingly.
  • The market is busiest between 8 and 10 am. Come early for best quality and selection. Growers often bring just a few pounds of this or that and the most in-demand produce goes first. Keep in mind, however, that vendors can not sell to customers until the market bell rings at 8am. Please give farmers time to set up their stands if you arrive early.
  • Come with a flexible shopping list. Plan your menus once you get to the market and see what farmers have brought to market that day.
  • Carry small bills so making change will be easy for vendors.
  • Chat with farmers. Ask questions about how produce is grown and how to cook it. Buy something you haven't tried before.  A grower can  tell you on how to select and prepare produce you are curious about.
  • Sturdy shopping bags or baskets will help you carry purchases to your car.
  • Plan to go straight home after shopping at the market so you can put away your purchases. Fresh produce, plants or flowers should not be left to swelter and wilt in your car. If you can't go home right away, bring a cooler in which to stow your purchases.
  • Take your children with you. They will learn where their food comes from and how it looks when freshly harvested. Farmers are happy to answer questions about how vegetables and fruits grow and to give out samples to taste.

How We Got To Now 
The Matthews Community Farmers' Market has come a long way from its inception in 1991, when it was founded  to re-establishing the traditional link between local farmers and consumers, as well as strengthening Matthews' sense of community.
    Those who helped get the market started include Renfrow Hardware, Seeds of Hope Project, the Matthews Town Council, the Matthews Chamber of Commerce, a small Christian church and a few community farmers. The market was born in the green space beside Renfrow Hardware with a few local farmers selling their produce. Growth was slow, but gradually more vendors and customers were attracted to the fledgling market.
    In 1996, a partnership was formed between the market and the Matthews Chamber of Commerce that helped the market grow to the point where it could  prosper on its own.
    In 1999, Matthews Community Farmers Market, Inc. was founded as an independent non-profit corporation to run the market. It is composed of farmer members and governed by a board of directors elected from the market's active membership. The board assures  the market remains true to its original mission of providing an outlet for farmers to market their locally produced goods, thereby encouraging local farming and supporting local farms as a viable part of the community. The board decides how the market should evolve to meet the needs of the vendors as well as the community it serves. The market manager/ executive director supports the board in running day-to-day operations.
    In 2007,  a successful winter market was added, making the market a year-round operation, opening every Saturday morning except for the weekend after Thanksgiving. 
    In 2013 and 2014, the farmers' market site underwent a complete renovation. The Town of Matthews invested thousands of dollars to construct new front and rear entryways to the market. No sooner had that work been completed than a heavy snow collapsed many market tents. A tremendous outpouring of donations from market customers, chefs and other market supporters raised enough money to remake and upgrade the market site, tents and facilities. 
    In 2016 we celebrated our 25th anniversary by mounting a huge fundraising campaign that raised money to construct a new chef demo patio, water and drainage projects and conversion of part of our parking lot to a tailgate market, allowing the market to grow in new ways in 2017.

     Dollars spent at the Matthews Community Farmers Market on food from local farmers buys you more than groceries. In addition to sustenance, nutritious food and great flavor, it helps support local farms as part of the fabric of the community. Even more than that, it buys you peace of mind that you know where your food comes from and who is growing it.
     Most of our regular customers are savvy consumers and do not come to the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market looking for bargains. They know that good food is not cheap.  
Here’s what you get for your money at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market:
Food That's Grown By Hand - Growing food on small farms is labor intensive, especially when the farmer uses natural or organic growing practices. Weeds are pulled by hand. Harvesting is done by hand. When people object to, say, the cost of green beans, our farmers explain just what kind of time and labor it takes to hand-pick each bean that goes into that pound bag. None of our farmers us mechanized harvesting equipment.
 High Quality, Excellent Value - Food at the Matthews Community Farmers’ Market is sold at its freshest and at the peak of ripeness, when flavor and nutrition are highest. It is harvested within hours of your purchase.  Supermarket produce, often is picked green to prevent damage during long-distance transit, and can take weeks to get to your plate.  There is no comparison. The food you find at this farmers market is some of the freshest and best available. The flavor of the food speaks for itself, whether it’s the produce, free-range chicken eggs, or pasture-raised meats.  Ever wondered why is there such a run on free-range chicken eggs at every market even though they are $4 or $5 a dozen? If you think that’s an outrageous price, then don’t ever taste one. Once you do you’ll never want to buy supermarket eggs again.
More Varieties Of Produce Grown For Their Taste - Not How Well They Ship -Many of the produce varieties that our farmers grow are selected for flavor, not ease of growing or yield. They are more expensive to grow, but worth it. That’s why you’ll find dozens of kinds of lettuce, myriad types of radishes, scores of different tomato varieties, multiple kinds of eggplant, peppers and and beans, to name a few – all picked for their taste. You’ll quickly find your favorites in every season and may discover foods you never knew existed.
Supporting Local Farms And Farm Families Our farmers’ market is important because it allows farmers to charge retail prices so they can make a decent income from what they grow. As it is, many of our farmers work another job so they will have enough income to support themselves and their families.  Farmers charge what they believe is a fair price, factoring in what it cost in time and labor to plant, nurture and harvest foods, as well as flavor, quality, sustainability and nutrition. Money spent on good locally grown food benefits the farm, the local economy, the consumer and the environment. When you buy from a local farmer, you help make it possible for them to be good stewards of the land. Without enough support from consumers who recognize the outstanding value in what they produce, we run the risk of losing our region’s farmers and farmland, as well as our local food security. So, get to know the local farmers producing your food. You’ll know where your food is coming from, how and where it was grown and you’ll be supporting the continuation of family farms in the process. 

At the Matthews Community Farmers' Market, customers  buy food directly from local farmers - that's as fresh, tasty and nutritious as it gets.
The market provides the community with locally raised foods as marketgoers help preserve the tradition of small farms in the area. Customers make a direct connection with the source of their food and get to know the person or farm family who grows it. 
During our regular season market, enjoy cooking demonstrations by top local chefs and relaxing live music.  And,  our special events schedule is always full of family-friendly activities and fun contests.
What Our Customers Are Saying About Us

  • "This is a small town market with big city tastes. They always have new and tasty events. I look forward to attending each Saturday morning bright and early."
  • "Growers only, highly engaging activities (chef demonstrations, music, crafts), very well managed and GREAT and HEALTHY food."
  • "The variety is outstanding and the farmers are great."
  • "Absolutely outstanding local produce and foods.  Also other items like baskets.  And entertainment by musicians and chefs each week.  Sometimes competitions as well."
  • "It's fresh, it's intimate, it's convenient!"
  • "Every week new products showing up, fresh as possible... new chefs teaching us how to cook, wine experts, musicw.  hat more can a girl want on a Saturday morning?"
  • "All of the products come from a 50 mile radius, so there is no question as to whether it is local.  Also, the vendors have a family present every week so relationships are built over time.  This is a Saturday morning family tradition to have breakfast, purchase wonderful food, flowers and crafts and enjoy local community.  During the summer, there are wonderful cooking demonstrations from local chefs.  Not only are the market products highlighted and good food shared but local restaurants get additional exposure."
  • "Our farmers market is the best I've ever been to because all the produce, meats and eggs have been... grown by the very people who sell them to me, within a 50 mile radius of my home. There is no comparison to chain stores offering masses of one variety of each well travelled produce item.  Greens at my farmers market are crisp and succulent, carrots are sweet beyond belief, eggplants and peppers are glossy and firm, berries are deeply red, like juicy jewels and I had never before experienced a fresh egg before shopping at this market. Aside from the outstanding quality of foods at this farmers market, there is an atmosphere of friendship and goodwill engendered by the common interest of giving our families the best food that we can find, as we support sustainable agriculture and the dedicated and hardworking farmers that provide the amazing gift of real food, cleanly grown, only hours out of the ground..."
Market Information 
"When you link a community with farmers, you strengthen both. That's what the Matthews Community Farmers' Market has been able to accomplish since it humbly began in 1991...It has down-home charm written all over it. Honestly, I am not sure how local grocery stores compete with this market. You can find eggs, free-range chickens, grass-fed beef, the most incredible mushrooms I've ever eaten, fresh pasta, pastries, cheese and remarkable stoneground grits and cornmeal. Need fresh flowers and plants? It's all there, along with handmade pottery and baskets and herbal soaps. It's a good thing this place is open all year. Oh, and the produce. Don't forget that. Bring along a wagon for the trip. You'll need it to haul the goodies back to your car and you'll love every moment of the shopping experience." 

---"Farm Fresh Southern Cooking: Straight From The Garden To Your Dinner Table" by Nashville, TN food authority author, radio and television personality Tammy Algood