New weekly campus market offers locally-sourced wares

Students and alumni work to help support local businesses

More stories from Colette St John

Old stomping grounds
September 17, 2015

Photo by Lauren French

Marni Kaldjian and Kate Beaton mind the Centennial Campus Market outside Centennial Hall. The market is open from 7 a.m. to noon every Thursday until mid October.

Locally-produced wares aren’t just for the Farmer’s Market anymore — now folks can find Eau Claire goods outside Centennial Hall.

The Progressive Students and Alumni, a second-year group on campus, will host the Centennial Campus Market until mid-October to support Eau Claire businesses. Students, faculty and community members can find of artwork and locally-grown produce next to Centennial Hall from 7 a.m. to noon on Thursdays.

Marni Kaldjian, market manager for PSA said she wanted to remain active in her home community as a PSA intern. The Eau Claire native and student at St. Olaf College (Minn.) said she hopes the Centennial Campus Market will entice students to venture further into the Eau Claire community.

“I think it’s important to show students that their life in Eau Claire doesn’t solely have to exist on campus, and that the community has a lot to offer them in terms of activism, involvement and just plain fun,” Kaldjian said.

Each week, campus market coordinators choose three to four vendors from a pool of local artisans, fast-food and donated and collected produce, Kaldjian said. Some of these vendors include Tangled Up in Hue, the Water Street Deli and Grocery and student-suggested donations from the local community garden.

Any food not purchased that day is donated to the Community Table.

Not only does the new Centennial Campus Market support local businesses, it supports sustainability. Kaldjian said she advocates for sustainability and it’s important to make it a life choice.

“Sustainability isn’t just for hippies,” she said. “Eating local is healthier for your body, healthier for the environment, and lastly and very importantly, healthier for the mind to be able to follow your food from farm to fork.”

Kaldjian said supporting local businesses keeps money flowing within Eau Claire rather than out, which creates a stronger economy and overall community.

Eau Claire alumna and PSA organizer Kate Beaton said PSA is a networking tool for students and alumni.

“PSA is about building relationships that form a network connecting students and their organizations to people and resources on campus and in the community, which they can use to build political power and make change,” Beaton said.

Beaton said she hopes PSA will evoke a collaboration between the campus and the Eau Claire community.

PSA will host a teach-in on the budget cuts from 3 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17 in Centennial Hall, room 1614, where students can listen to speakers and partake in small group discussions.