Everything you need to know about the planned Pepper Place market in Birmingham

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A rendering of what the Market at Pepper Place pavilion might look like when completed. Rendered via MASS Design Group

Earlier this month, 60 Minutes from CBS News shed light on the architecture firm Mass Design Group and their plans for a re-imagined Pepper Place Market in Birmingham. To learn more about the vision, we turned to Leigh Sloss-Corra, executive director of The Market. Read on to find out more.

About Pepper Place Market

Pepper Place
A proposed design of the market, located between 1st and 2nd Avenue South (the design is not final). Rendered via MASS Design Group

“Connecting Alabama’s best producers with consumers in the Birmingham area, making fresh, healthy food accessible to all of our neighbors while creating a vibrant local economy and community meeting place.”

The Market Mission to Pepper Place

A Birmingham staple for over 20 years, Pepper Place Market is a gathering of local farmers, artists, musicians and more, which takes place on Saturday mornings between late spring and early fall. From its humble beginnings as a handful of tents and farmers at Pepper Place, the market has grown exponentially, drawing more than 10,000 visitors each Saturday to browse the products made locally by Alabama farmers.

As the Pepper Place Marketplace planned for its 20th anniversary, market leadership began working with MASS Design Group to discuss a permanent structure and park for the Pepper Place Marketplace. MASS Design Group’s past work includes the Equal Justice Initiative National Peace and Justice Memorial, located in Montgomery.

While the designs, specs, and actual location aren’t set in stone, the Market at Pepper Place project includes a permanent pavilion, which will allow events throughout the year and help connect the community in new ways.

A market redesigned at Pepper Place

Pepper Place
Rendered via MASS Design Group

To learn more about The Market at Pepper Place’s vision, we caught up with Leigh Sloss-Corra, Executive Director of The Market. Since 2000, Leigh and her sister Cathy Sloss Jones (President and CEO of The Market) have made the market the nationally recognized event it is today.

What is your vision for The Market at Pepper Place?

Leigh: “Birmingham is a constantly changing landscape. We have long dreamed of using The Market to connect Pepper Place to the Jones Valley Trail, which will eventually stretch across Jefferson County. I think that’s what the markets do: bring everyone together.

What can people expect at the Marketplace after the project is finished?

Leigh: “The idea of ​​Pepper Place Market – with the pavilion, community garden, park and more – is to make the market better than it already is: a gathering place. The market is a place where people can bring their dogs and children while they shop for fresh produce. It is a space to relax, spend time and just be in the air together. It is a community space.

What new opportunities can people discover at the Market at Pepper Place?

Leigh: “We are working with MASS Design Group to see how we can best use the space once the project is complete. Many similar markets end up using their indoor pavilion as a food hall, where vendors can make their produce available throughout the week. And people are always looking for new places to hold meetings and gatherings! The pavilion could become a place where people could have business meetings, family reunions, weddings and more.

In addition to the pavilion, we are looking to create a community garden at the Market. We hope to use this community garden as a way to provide educational opportunities, showing people how to literally grow and gather their own food. We would like to do cooking demonstrations with herbs or tomatoes picked on site.

While the design and budget for The Market at Pepper Place is still ongoing, the plan is to lead the way in 2022 and complete the new Market by 2023!

You want to check Pepper Place Market before the end of the year ? The 2021 Final Market is December 11, so mark your calendar! Stop between 7 a.m. and noon to find all the local products you want!

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