SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A new breed of farmers’ market has hit the scene in Springfield. However, vendors aren’t required to be farmers, offer produce or even sell food.
Metro Eats LLC and organizer Christina Shellhart have secured a unique location that will cater to food trucks, produce stands, and entertainment for visitors. The market just opened recently and organizers already have plans to expand the space and diversify their products.
The market currently has 76 vendors including seven food trucks and seven cargo containers reserved by bakeries, boutiques and a flower vendor.
The market’s total spacing extends 10 acres and includes a pond, a planted pumpkin patch, part of Wilson’s Creek itself and plenty of room for three more phases of future plans.
“I started looking at a place to do a food truck place in Springfield seven years ago,” Shellhart told The Heartlander. “We didn’t have one at the time, so I scoured around town for three weeks and this was the piece of property that I picked.”
According to Shellhart, future plans include building an entertainment stage for local bands and artists, a picnic area with tables and additional bleachers. There are also plans for an outdoor art gallery where visitors can purchase 6-foot canvases to paint.
Another unique feature of Metro Eats will be the 6-by-7 foot hunting container blinds for visitors to enjoy the surrounding festivities. The blinds will include an air conditioner, a heater, a porch and an electric grill. Eventually, container renters will be able to watch movies on a drive-in sized screen once approved by the City of Springfield.
Metro Eats has a 60-by-60 foot open pavilion in case of bad weather and to provide some relief for those who want to social distance due to Covid-19. The inside of the pavilion includes 18 climate control areas and 25 10-by-10 foot areas occupied by vendors, bars and restaurants. Shellhart told The Heartlander that when the farmer’s market is not operating, the pavilion can seat roughly 200 people inside.
50 local farmers have already signed on to exclusively provide food for Metro Eats so the food supply chain can stay healthy and continuous. The market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Wednesdays 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and operates year round.
Metro Eats is located at 2463 West Sunshine in Springfield. Those interested can visit their website for more information on the market and how to become a vendor.