Market grand opening on July 22, 2007

The Montavilla neighborhood began as a rural farming community over 100 years ago, just east of what were then the city limits of Portland. In the mid-1880s, residents of Montavilla began to develop a new business district along Stark Street. By 1890, a bustling new Montavilla boasted “three grocery stores, a couple of meat markets, a livery stable, a privately owned bank and two blacksmith shops.”

Historic Montavilla Revisted

In recent years, Montavilla has had a resurgence of locally-owned businesses that have sprouted up along Stark Street between 75th and 92nd Streets. Montavilla residents now enjoy a movie theater, pet supplies store, bike shop, yoga studio, diverse restaurants and bars, coffeeshops, custom clothiers and housewares, and other small shops which are creating vibrancy on our main street. This revival of the historic Montavilla neighborhood was the impetus for the Montavilla Farmers Market (MFM).

Food lovers unite

The Market was founded by a grassroots collection of neighbors who were inspired by visions of a fresh, local food market in a shared community space within the growing Stark Street business district. This dedicated group opened the Market in just 10 short months with a small amount of grant funds and a generous outpouring of donations from local businesses, friends, and neighbors. The tireless energy of these un-paid visionaries and countless other volunteers allowed MFM to open its first Market on Sunday July 22, 2007 with 17 vendors and over 2,000 visitors!

SE Stark & 80th Streets, 1939 (City of Portland Archives)

Moving forward

The Market has expanded each year of its operation. For the 2019 season the Market will have as many as 60 vendors on its roster and a season that covers 30 weeks, operating weekly on Sundays from May through October, in addition to monthly stock-up markets Nov. – Feb. This season we look forward to highlights such as an exciting volunteer program, music at the market, and our Everybody Eats bonus match for SNAP customers.

In Montavilla we see the social, economic, and environmental value in providing a venue to support local agriculture. The Montavilla Farmers Market is a community asset and means to a healthy lifestyle, increased neighborhood livability, and productive regional economy.