Another downtown DC loss: Penn Quarter farmers market won’t reopen

The Penn Quarter farmers market is the latest victim of downtown D.C.’s slow post-pandemic recovery.

Nonprofit FRESHFARM has decided not to reopen the market after three years of declining sales.

“We had hoped that the recent focus to revitalize downtown Washington, D.C. would keep the market operational. Unfortunately, the required support has not materialized,” FRESHFARM said in a statement.

“This decision was not made lightly and comes after extensive efforts to sustain and revitalize one of the District’s most historically significant farmers markets.”

Last year was the 20th year for the Penn Quarter market, making it one of the longest running markets in the D.C. area. It took up two full blocks of F Street, Northwest, between 7th and 9th streets.

FRESHFARM is the largest network of farmers markets in the mid-Atlantic — operating two dozen in the D.C. region — and the third-largest in the country. Some of its markets are year-round and some are seasonal.

The organization said it would reallocate its time, talents and resources to where it can make the biggest impact.

FRESHFARM employees ratified their first union collective bargaining agreement in February.

According to FRESHFARM’s 2022 annual report, its markets generated a record $24.7 million in sales for 254 farmers and producers.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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