Downtown workers can leave their brown bag lunches at home Wednesday and take a stroll to city plaza instead.
The weekly Farmers Market in Fayetteville Street’s City Plaza kicks off this week, following a weather-related delay.
During the 2013 season, 105,000 people made a stop at the market during its 27-week run for their fill of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy and more.
This year’s line-up has expanded to include 32 vendors, both familiar faces and newcomers.
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Among the expanded offerings: bakeries, pastured meats, fresh eggs and even pet treats.
Other twists on the market’s traditional fare include beer tastings, festivals and guest vendors throughout the season, said Lacie Lindstaedt, a spokeswoman for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
The alliance took over the long-standing market five years ago and moved it from Moore Square to its new location on Fayetteville.
“Without a grocery store, it's excellent that we have this farmers market,” she said.
While the market is a clear draw for nearby workers, the alliance also aims to draw more people downtown with the event, Lindstaedt said.
Bill Landahl, the owner of Oak City Coffee Roasters, set up shop at the market last year just as he started his coffee roasting business, when he was still without a brick-and-mortar presence.
For Landahl, who is returning this year, the market was a way to connect with customers, as well as business owners that wanted to sell his coffee in their shops.
“It sort of made everything happen for me,” he said.