Market History

The Fulton Street Farmers Market is the oldest and largest in Grand Rapids. When it was established in 1922 there were three other markets in operation: a large wholesale market located on Market Street by the river and railroad tracks, a smaller market on Cottage Grove Avenue on the Southeast side of town, and one on the West side of town by the river on Leonard Street.

Originally known as the “East Side Market,” the site where the Fulton Street Farmers Market currently sits was set aside by the city to ease traffic congestion caused by farmers selling produce block by block from their vehicles or wagons. In 1926, an office structure was built, where it remains to this day. The building enjoyed a brief stint as a diner from 1953 to 1955.

Throughout its history, the Market has weathered ups and downs in popularity, vendor participation and support. Many of our vendors have been with us for generations. Dating back to 1931, Tanis Orchards has had the longest tenure. Still, one thing remains constant — our loyal customer support. For many, the market brings back memories of shopping as a child with parents or grandparents. Today the market is creating new memories for a new generation of customers.