Summer in the city means the return of Pearl Market, your chance to find farm-fresh favorites and handcrafted merchandise right in the heart of downtown in the Pearl and Lynn alleys. The market opens on June 2 and runs each Tuesday and Friday through October 13. Keeping this event rolling is no easy task, and we’d like to introduce you to Dustin Speakman, Pearl Market’s new manager. Dustin will take the “tomato” from former market manager Adam Schroeder, who is moving on to new pastures.
Dustin’s work experience is diverse, with stints in furniture importing and retail at several divisions of the Limited before leaving the corporate world to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2002. He then remained in the non-profit sector, working with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks for a decade and as CEO of Community Kitchen, which runs two local soup kitchens. He sees the move to Pearl Market Manager as a logical and exciting next step.
“After working for 15 years fighting poverty and hunger, I was ready for a change, and this position allows me to still work toward making a difference in areas such as local foods. In addition, many market vendors accept SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and participate in the produce incentive program, Veggie Snaps, so it will be exciting to work to promote those programs.”
Having worked downtown for many years, Dustin is a long-time fan of Pearl Market and of Downtown Columbus.
“We are really lucky in Columbus to have so many diverse opportunities for fun and entertainment, as well as strong institutions dedicated to helping others. We have great theaters, shows, and places to eat, drink and socialize. And with three young children, we love the green spaces, the splash pad at Scioto Mile and COSI.”
Dustin looks forward to working with all the wonderful farmers and merchants that make Pearl Market great, as well as getting to know the local businesses downtown. He stresses that visitors to Pearl Market should take advantage of the live entertainment and of the local brick-and-mortar businesses in the area. Oh, and the food.
“I’m definitely looking forward to all of the great food!”