MANCHESTER, NH — This summer’s Manchester Community Market welcomes a new home-grown market manager, Derek Lynch, who is ready to grow the city’s annual downtown celebration of the harvest.
Intown Manchester Executive Director Sara Beaudry says Lynch brings with him a bumper crop of enthusiasm, given his strong Manchester connections – or as Lynch describes himself, he was “born locally, grown organically and raised cage-free-or-die in Manchester.”
“We’re really excited to welcome Derek to the position of market manager,” says Beaudry. “He has a marketing background – we tried to go outside of the farming community for our market manager, to find someone who can approach it as an event planner and marketing person, because it’s really a wonderful summertime event.”
Lynch, a Central High School grad, studied business at Merrimack College. He’s worked locally at Osram Sylvania as an Internship/Co-op Coordinator, at Corsair Solutions as a high-tech recruiter, and for Constant Contact as a communications consultant. In addition, he is an artist, musician and foodie. Most recently he’s coached football at Manchester Central, and worked at award-winning restaurants and cafes, including Bailey’s Bar and Grill, Big Kahunas Café and Grill in Merrimack, and Apotheca in Goffstown. He’s also completed his coursework at Rivier University, toward a master’s in school psychology.
Beaudry says Lynch will bring a fresh perspective to how the market operates – he’s participated in past Intown events as an artist, and understands the unique challenges a market can pose for vendors, says Beaudry. Recruitment and retention of a wide range of farmers and artisans will be at the top of his to-do list.
The market will again be staged at Victory Park, which has undergone a facelift since last season. This year the city is reducing the vendor fee from $20 to $10, says Beaudry.
“Happy farmers make a happy market,” says Beaudry.
Returning this season will be promotion of “The Uglies,” a program through NH Food Bank offering fun, interactive cooking demonstration for kids and adults alike using “ugly” produce – so named because it has cosmetic blemishes or is misshapen, but is still perfectly healthy and delicious.
Beaudry said a food truck will be added to the mix this year, a way for patrons of the market to grab a bite and settle in to the market to enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment.
Another innovation this year will be to invite local restaurants to come down on market day to pick up pre-purchased fresh produce, which is a natural fit for many of the city’s eateries where menus are based on fresh and local ingredients.
Applications are now being accepted for farmers, vendors and artisans interested in participating. Deadline is April 30. Click here for the application page. Inquiries can be sent to Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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