The Market History
The Saturday market that is now known as the Capital City Public Market has lead a long and eventful life. The Market first started in 1994 when The S-16 Corporation united with Capital City Public Market to start an open air market in Downtown Boise Idaho. People had been enamored by the vitality of Seattle’s Pike Street Market, Portland Farmers Market and others for some time and a Market in Boise seemed to be just what our downtown needed. Many people put their hearts into the project and the Saturday Market was an instant success. With downtown changing, the Market was moved to a dirt lot on the corner of 8th & Main, what we knew as “The Hole” in 1996 and is now the beautiful 8th and Main building. During this move The Market and all of its 12 vendors became the member-owned, state non-profit organization that it is today.
In two years The Market became such a success that downtown businesses started to lobby the Capital City Development Corporation to allow The Market to shutdown and occupy 8th Street between Bannock and Idaho, where it flourished for two more years before expanding across the street to occupy two city blocks in 2000 with a vendor count of about 25.
In 2003, The Market made another big move across yet-another busy street and began to occupy The Grove. The addition of roughly two city blocks and the ambiance of The Grove allowed The Market to create an art-centric block where artists and performers could flourish in a nourishing environment. At this time The Market partnered with The Brick Oven Bistro, Boise Blue Art Supply, and Boise City Arts Commission to create the Emerging Artist program, as well as Arts for Kids.
In 2010, The Market moved one block north to occupy 8th Street from Bannock to Jefferson. While this block was very successful another move was needed. With the Market being in an urban area, pedestrian traffic has always been a safety concern. With help from the Boise City Police Department, ACHD, and ValleyRide the Market was able to relinquish the newly created north block and move those vendors onto Idaho Street which runs east and west.
In 2014, a lot of changes were going on in Downtown Boise and the Capital City Public Market has needed to shift to help accommodate this growth. The Market currently sits exclusively on 8th Street between Main and State Streets. The Market has been able to grow steadily and mature into a market consisting of up to 150+ vendors a day in the peak of the season, and now consumes 4 blocks of Downtown Boise.
The Market Mission
Capital City Public Market envisions healthy communities nourished by sustainable food systems providing economically viable opportunities for agricultural vendors, food producers and artisans. We uphold the age-old tradition of allowing the consumer to meet the producer while while encouraging the production and consumption of agricultural products in the Treasure Valley. Maintaining a diverse mix of products offered for sale at The Market will provide direct marketing opportunities for growers, specialty food vendors, and artisan vendors alike. The Market is more than just a place of business; it is a mutually beneficial and sustainable community activity.
We aim to:
- Be a marketplace for local growers and producers
- Provide access to local food
- Educate and inform the community on sustainable local food systems
- Support sustainable farm operations and thriving economies
- Enable world class farmers markets to grow, nourish and sustain communities
Why it benefits the community:
- Acts as an incubator for independent, seasonal micro businesses
- Acts as leasing agent for local area vendors
- Keeps fees affordable, supports business by offering technical help, free weekly advertising, merchandising training and marketing assistance
- Provides a beneficial marketplace for vendors, downtown merchants and shoppers