Countryside Public Market brings fresh, local food to Downtown Akron!


Countryside is thrilled to launch the first phase of Akron’s very own Public Food Market in Downtown’s Northside District with support from the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation - Coming October 28th! 

With support from Knight Foundation, Countryside has begun the transformation of the Northside Loft’s former parking garage into a fun, indoor, food-centric space for everyone to enjoy the flavor of Ohio’s local food offerings. Countryside Public Market will provide over 40 small businesses economic opportunity and direct consumer access. In addition, the market will provide food assistance programing for families and individuals, giving everyone access to fresh, healthy, local food.

Countryside is leasing this nearly 10,000 square foot space from Testa Companies after brainstorming with building owner, Joel Testa. “We are extremely excited to welcome Countryside to the Northside Marketplace. This is the final piece in a longtime vision to bring fresh, local foods and opportunities for small vendors and retailers to the downtown Akron market. We are looking forward to the many opportunities that this new partnership can bring as we create a vibrant place to live, work, and play in Downtown Akron,” said Testa.

The project is scheduled to evolve in phases over the next eighteen months, with the grand opening of the first phase on Sunday, October 28th. Every Sunday morning Countryside will bring the best local farmers and food producers to the Northside District from 10 am to 1 pm.

“Drawing people out of their homes and into the community is vital to promoting a vibrant public life in Akron and creating the incentives that will keep and attract people to the city,” said Kyle Kutuchief, Knight Foundation program director for Akron. “The Public Food Market will help to advance this goal, providing a place to showcase homegrown talent and connect residents to the city and each other.”

The space will also host regular food experiences including tastings, farm-to-table dinners, food entrepreneur education, CSA pick-ups, and more. In the future, the market will be open multiple days per week offering fresh local produce, meats, baked goods, candies, cheese, dairy, flowers, herbs, jams, sauces, locally crafted beverages, hand-made kitchenware, morning brunch, and a smattering of local artisans’ works.

Countryside Public Market will be a year-round place for residents and visitors of Akron to get healthy, fresh, local food in a space that is welcoming and fun for everyone. “The potential here is amazing. I envision this project as a way to support Countryside’s long-term viability while expanding our mission deeper into the City of Akron. Food is a catalyst for community building and Countryside is thrilled to be part of the Akron community,” says Tracy Emrick Countryside Executive Director.


About The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit


About Countryside: Our mission is to connect people, food and land by promoting a resilient, sustainable food culture through programs, advocacy and education. We are a leading expert and innovator in conservation farming and community-based food programs, working in partnership with Cuyahoga Valley National Park, its farms, community stakeholders, and food entrepreneurs.


Vendor applications are now open for Countryside Public Market on our website We are currently accepting applications from farmers, food producers, and other vendors who share our passion for locally-sourced, sustainable food and food products. Artists are welcome to apply but spaces are limited.

For press inquiries: Rachel, Development & Marketing Associate

For vendors and general market inquiries: Alicia, Site Manager for Countryside Public Market