About WBFM

Our Mission

The market features vendors of crafts, produce and prepared foods. Our goals include:

  • Develop new food-based entrepreneurs and build a neighborhood-based economy in the Hancock Corridor community.
  • Expand access to and consumption of healthy foods
  • Serve as an additional retail outlet for underserved farmers and small food-based business owners
  • Serve as a community resource and gathering space for the Hancock Corridor community.
  • Serve as a model and demonstration site for the county and region while providing an additional source of fresh, affordable produce.

The History

The first site of the market, the West Broad School, has a rich history in community agriculture and food. In the late 1800s, the West Broad Elementary School was established as an African- American Elementary School. At the start of the 1900s, Samuel J. Harris, the school’s principal, instituted cooking, gardening, sewing, agriculture courses for adults and children.

After being left vacant starting in mid-1990s, in 2012, with the blessing of African-American Community Leaders, support of the Clarke County School District, and funding from USDA, Athens Land Trust (ALT) began developing the site of the West Broad School for a community market garden and farmer’s market.

The West Broad Market Garden is Athens’ first-ever community based, Certified Naturally Grown urban farm and has produced over 13,000 pounds of produce during the first two years. 200+ people shop at the West Broad Farmers Market and produce stand each week, bringing naturally and sustainably grown produce to a historically marginalized neighborhood.

In 2020, the West Broad Farmers Market began operating at its new location at 300 S. Rockpsprings Street (in the parking lot of the Athens Housing Authority. This location is the result of an amazing partnership with the Athens Housing Authority – they have made their parking lot available and have provided the use of an acre of land adjacent for the new West Broad Garden. All these activities are within walking distance of the previous site and in better proximity to the residents of Rocksprings Homes. The market will feature all of the same vendors Athenians have come to know and love and is providing an important venue for sales for many small businesses.

“What’s so impressive about this afternoon [opening celebration of the West Broad Market Garden] is not the garden, not the food, but that it’s brought Athens together. All races, colors, creeds and genders have come here today, and it shows you that when we work together, we can transform barren land into prosperous land.”

– Michael L. Thurmond, Georgia’s former Labor Commissioner and author of A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History.