Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, the Lynchburg Community Market is an open-air public market facility offering a variety of farmer’s market, artisanal goods, and restaurant and specialty food shop vendors. The history of the Lynchburg Community Market dates back to 1783, when the first open-air community market was opened on the city’s Water Street.
Throughout the late 18th century and early 19th century, the market served as a primary community gathering and event space and is credited as being one of the major economic contributor’s to the city’s early development. In 1814, the market was rebuilt at a different location on Water Street and served as the community’s makeshift town square, hosting guest speakers and serving as a posting location for city-wide notices. The market was rebuilt again in 1873 on Main Street between 11th and 12th Street at the site it still occupies today, which offers open-air and enclosed spaces and an auditorium facility. The market continued to serve as a major economic center for the community until the 1950s, when the development of supermarkets and suburban development throughout the United States displaced the public market as a central figure of civic life. In 1987, the market was renovated and modernized with new landscaping, parking, and architectural features to update the facility as a tourist attraction.
Today, the Lynchburg Community Market is overseen and operated by the Friends of the Lynchburg Community Market nonprofit organization, which serves as a community advocate for the market and supplies volunteer staff for operational hours and special events. Additional funding for the market is provided by the City of Lynchburg. A wide variety of vendors are offered at the market, including farmer’s market providers, artisanal foods and goods vendors, and restaurant and cafe stalls.
Farmer’s market vendors are offered at the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with all farmer vendors located within a 100-mile radius of the market. Seasonal produce is offered in accordance with Virginia seasonal produce yields and includes a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers and plants. A seasonal produce guide is offered on the market’s website to help visitors know what fruits and vegetables are in season throughout the year. Farmer vendors also sell a variety of pastured meats, eggs, and artisanal cheese. Regular vendors include Indian Summer Farm, Virginia Natural Fish Company, Three Springs Farms, Silver Creek Produce, Walnut Winds Farm, Great Day Gardens, and Wildwood Berry and Produce.
Artisanal food vendors are also offered at the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays at a variety of vendor stalls both inside and outside the market. Artisanal food items sold at the market include jams, honey, oils, and grains, along with a variety of baked goods and prepared foods. Baked good vendors include Be Sweet Gourmet Desserts and Rivermont Specialty Baking, while specialty confections are sold by the Brio Chocolatier and Shirley’s Homemade Goodies. The Dancing Chick and Crooked Creek Bison sell preserves, jams, and other canned foods, while the Alberta General Store specializes in prepared foods. Other vendors include Bleu Lavender, which sells homemade natural beauty products.
The market’s Heritage Crafts Gallery and Artist Alley indoor area offers a cooperative artist space for artisans throughout the Lynchburg and Central Virginia region, open Tuesday through Saturday throughout the morning and early afternoon hours. Items sold within the market range include jewelry and clothing, handmade soaps and personal care products, and multidisciplinary arts items such as pottery, photography, and paintings. Artists regularly displaying works include Emanuel Tanjala, Norma P. Ogden, Mark McQuarry, and Shirley Carwile. Other artist vendors include Bee Tree Soap, Providence Pottery, Mayberry’s Woodturning, Reflective Glow Studio, Helga’s Yarn Designs, and the Seven Hills Art Club.
A variety of permanent restaurants and specialty food shops are offered at the market, open Tuesdays through Saturdays in the morning and afternoon hours. Restaurants include the Barb’s Dream Hut Southern-style grill, the homestyle Country Cooking by Irene restaurant, the Vietnamese cafe Cupboard Cafe, and the Philippine Delight food stall. Specialty foods are also sold by Lorraine Bakery, Grains of Sense Coffee Roastery and Tea, the Cheese Shop at the Market, and Pride of Virginia Homestead Meats. Several permanent artisan boutiques are also offered, including Spearman Artisanry Boutique and Willow Breezes.
Ongoing Programs and Events
A variety of regular programming is offered at the market, including pizza nights and other fundraisers held in conjunction with the Friends of the Lynchburg Community Market organization. Annual public special events include a Bloom Burg spring celebration and a We Got the Beet health and wellness festival offered in June. The market accepts SNAP Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program dollars at a variety of its stalls and redeems SNAP tokens at its front desk. Regional Central Virginia farmers, artisans, and food vendors may apply for booth space at the market by contacting the market directly.
1219 Main St, Lynchburg, VA 24504, Phone: 434-455-4485