When Bruce Martin first came to know Lancaster Central Market in the 1980’s he was reminded of home, “my 90+-year-old landlady would grab her market basket and walk to the Central Market returning with produce similar to what I remember growing in our family garden as a kid.” Since then, Bruce has been a regular staple of Market, both as a customer and a volunteer. On Saturday’s he can often be found shopping or working the information stand presenting the common phrase, meet me at market, in a literal sense.
“At Market, I have developed relationships with standholders who talk to me about the quality products they offer. We often exchange food preparation tips. And when I leave and take my purchases home, I know I will be pleased serving them to the people who are sitting around my table.” The fact that for hundreds of people these same weekly exchanges take place is just one of the unique aspects that make Lancaster Central Market a staple of the community.
“While each of us may have a different response about what Market means to them and a different reason why it needs to be preserved, what is clear time and time again is that Lancastrians love this unique place and know it is a valuable asset to our community.” Now as Martin looks to begin a new relationship with Market, serving as the Chair of the Central Market Trust, his focus becomes what he can give back to Market and to the community. With the support of a strong board and executive committee, the CMT looks to begin further implementing its five-year strategic plan.
“Market is blessed to have so many community supporters, stakeholders, and customers. Many of those are passionate about this important community asset. I offer my skills of listening to community voices about what they need and want from their public market, finding and building consensus around how this treasured community asset continues to evolve, and collaborating to develop a strategy and plan which makes it happen.”
Martin spent his professional career dedicated to public service- first in health care and then in the Court system where he spent 30 years. After retiring from the Courts, he worked in the private sector as a consultant focusing on strategic planning, business process planning, and developing/implementing technologies. After joining the CMT in 2019, he quickly took on the role of Vice-Chair, and now as he prepares for this new role, he considers what others have done to continue the market tradition.
“We preserve Central Market because it is what the community wants us to do. This has been demonstrated many times throughout the history of our city and the history of our Market. In 1886 when the Market was facing competition from private entities, the public through their elected Council decided to invest and build our current Market building – a beautiful building that still inspires customers and visitors to our city.
During the Raise the Roof campaign in 2016-17, many residents throughout Lancaster County donated generously to replace the roof and adopted slates to be placed on the roof which they inscribed with personal messages. Like me, many mentioned the relationship they have established with the people who grow/produce the food they eat. Others have wonderful memories of going to Market with loved ones. And others recognize the unique community gathering space which Central Market is.”
As a parting thought, Martin noted the difficult year the community and Market have been through together. “Thousands continued to come to Market every week – often waiting in lines without complaint; many provided contributions to the Trust to offset pandemic costs; and many shared kind words of encouragement to our staff, standholders, and volunteers which helped many through this difficult period of time.
I wish to thank you – personally and on behalf of the Trust – for your continuing support and patronage of Lancaster Central Market. And I look forward to meeting you at Market soon.”