Posted on Nov 04, 2020
Our presenter on November 4th was Dan Carmody, President of the Eastern Market Corporation (EMC).
Eastern Market has been around for 129 years while Detroit has built around it, vanished for a bit, and is now building around it again. Made up of 5 buildings over 165,000 square feet, it is City owned with the EMC managing since 2006.  With an annual budget of over $5 million, the Market is governed by a 21 member Board made up of 1/3 municipal, 1/3 vendors & merchants, and 1/3 community. 
The EMC has three missions: (1) manage & promote the public market, (2) serve as the economic development organization for the Market District, and (3) leverage the Market to improve food access and the regional food economy.  Its purpose is to service the full spectrum of the area’s population.
A lot is going on at Eastern Market.  There are food wholesalers such as Wolverine Packing that produces 12 million hamburger patties a week to go along with the small farm and craft vendors on the weekends.  There are also programs to benefit smaller food production: (1) accelerating production with small garden plot innovation; and (2) incubation processors that nurture entrepreneurs in low cost kitchens.
Eastern Market’s location makes it attractive to developers, so the EMC tries to balance the welcoming of investment but still catering to small businesses and keeping it affordable.  The EMC is looking to expand and has purchased many neighboring vacant lots that will focus on its core value: shepherding Eastern Market’s rich history to nourish a healthier, wealthier, and happier Detroit.