Photo Note: A shopper browses at the Shreveport Farmers’ Market in 2011.
There’s an old saying that “the only thing that is constant is change,” a statement that definitely applies to the Shreveport Farmers’ Market. In recent years, as the market has exploded in size and popularity, Market Manager Noma Fowler-Sandlin has continuously found ways to make the experience fresh, fun and surprising. I recently spoke with Fowler-Sandlin about some of the changes coming to the 2015 market. The 2015 market will be held in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturdays, May 30-Aug. 29, and 3-6 p.m., Tuesdays, June 2-July 14.
More farmers than ever
“This year, we’ve had more farmers apply than ever before,” Fowler-Sandlin said. Because the final layout of the market is affected by the number of farmers who apply, she said, this influx of farmers “may change a few things” about the market. The East Pavilion, as market regulars know, is really all about the farmers. “The East Pavilion is where we try to put as many of the farmers as possible,” she said. “Everything else is wonderful lagniappe.”
Local beer and a brunch-style bar
As you can see illustrated on this map, there’ll be a bar at the 2015 Shreveport Farmers’ Market.
“They’ll be selling locally brewed beers and drinks that we normally associate with brunch,” Fowler-Sandlin said. She named a bloody mary as a potential drink that could be served in the bar area, which will be managed by Thrifty Liquor. “We hope that they’ll be willing to use garnish ingredients from the market,” she added.
Filipino food and more in the Market Café
The Market Café area of the Shreveport Farmers’ Market has become, essentially, a global cuisine food court. The outstanding array of food vendors serving breakfast and lunch – which already included everything from authentic Mexican street food and Vietnamese cuisine to gourmet ice cream – will continue to grow in 2015.
“We’re going to have Filipino food this year, which we’ve not had before,” Fowler-Sandlin said. She sees the Market Café as an opportunity for food vendors to “test the waters” and find out what will sell in Shreveport-Bossier. “Some have had more success than others, but it’s a good testing grounds to see how locals will react,” she said.
The Shreveport Farmers’ Market will open for 2015 on Saturday, May 30. Vendor applications are being accepted through May 1. Watch 20×49.com for more stories about farmers and food vendors as opening day approaches.