Monument Market, Austin Style
STYLE PICK: MONUMENT MARKET
A Georgetown market offers a growing bounty of fresh, locally inspired fare.
The beauty of a farmers’ market is in its vibrant, just-harvested freshness—the promise of flavorful and nourishing seasonal produce. Monument Market, which opened in 2011, brought this same pledge of freshness to downtown Georgetown. The retail market shares one over-an-acre sized city block with its counterpart, the popular Monument Cafe, as well as with its own produce and herb gardens. While most of the products (all from farms within a 300-mile radius) are sold to customers, some go straight to their kitchen.
Starting this month, the market will literally connect to the café (via a new doorway), and early this summer a smoothie bar with a range of fruit and vegetable concoctions will be added to the mix.
Monument Market covers all the bases for urban foodies, including locally grown and/or produced fruits and vegetables, olive oils, beer and wine, coffee, honey, and more. In other words, it’s one-stop shopping for locavore foodies.
“Monument Market is the retail version of a farmers’ market,” says co-manager Alex Weber. “If you want locally sourced produce that is seasonal and organic whenever possible, we offer that diversity for folks who can’t make it to an actual farmers’ market every weekend.”
Weber and Michelle Akindiya manage the store: he handles the marketing and sales side of things, and she’s charged with the garden and purchasing. Since they took over the business from founder Jeanette Murphy a year and a half ago, they’ve worked to expand the market while staying true to its commitment to sustainability.
To that end, the market holds weekly gardening classes and bimonthly cooking classes, taught by other staff members. There’s also an in-house bread program and a grab-and-go deli that offers quick meal solutions for locals.
“I really like picking up a fresh melon that’s just ripe and warm from the sun and bringing it inside and selling it,” Perry says. “With urban farming in general, you’re growing food right where the people are; it doesn’t get much more direct than that.”
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