The DNA is looking for a Harvest Market Manager!



Position:  Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, Market Manager

  General Description:

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market began operating in 2000 as an event of the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin.  It is a seasonal market held weekly on Thursdays from the first week in June through the first week of October (18 weeks) and is located outdoors in a City of Elgin parking lot at 200 North Grove Avenue in Downtown Elgin.

The market offers and encourages locally grown and sustainably produced food, provides an outlet for educational opportunities on sustainable practices and healthy living, supports local artists, community organizations, and Downtown businesses while cultivating a welcoming and entertaining public space atmosphere in Downtown Elgin. During peak season, more than 20 vendors of raw and processed agricultural local products participate, selling their goods to over 500 or more customers and visitors a week.

The market manager is a part-time position who will work closely with the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Event Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. The person filling this position will need to have the following skills to successfully operate an urban farmers market including:

  • Vendor recruitment and relations
  • Market application process
  • Volunteer recruitment and management
  • Market promotion and outreach
  • Collaboration with city departments, local businesses, and other organizations
  • Market day logistics and execution
  • Financial record keeping
  • Understanding/operating EBT program

A strong candidate for this position will have a demonstrated passion for local, sustainable food production and/or community building and civic engagement as well as excellent communications skills.  This is a physically demanding role, requiring the ability to work in all weather conditions and to lift and carry up to 50lbs.  Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and legally eligible for employment in the U.S.

Other desired qualifications are:

  • Highly self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Familiar with Downtown Elgin and/or Downtown Districts
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite
  • Basic understanding of social media, online communications
  • Experience in customer service and/or event planning
  • Agricultural background
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with diverse populations
  • Ability to learn on the job and multitask
  • Conflict resolution and problem solving skills

Position Responsibilities:
The 2015 Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Harvest Market outdoor season will operate on Thursday’s from June 4 through October 1, 9am – 2pm, at 200 North Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL. The Market Manager will be expected to arrive at 7am and stay through tear down (approximately 3pm).  During that time, s/he will work with volunteers, etc. to set up the Market, coordinate volunteers, interns, sponsors, vendors, community partners, kid program partners, special activities, and tear down of the Market.  This is a physically and mentally demanding role that is best filled by someone with enthusiasm and a positive, resilient attitude. The Market Manager will also have regularly scheduled office days to focus on such tasks as enrolling farmers/vendors, collecting fees, creating and maintaining the Harvest Market budget, overseeing the Harvest Market Committee meetings and other duties as assigned. The DNA office is located at 10 N. Spring Street, Elgin, IL.

How to Apply:
Submit a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, IL at In the subject line, please enter “Harvest Market Manager Position”.


Opening Day of the Harvest Market!

Downtown Elgin Harvest Market Returns for its 15th Season

9102548489_c8b3390b8fElgin, IL— The Downtown Neighborhood Association is excited to continue in its 15th year of the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market – Presented by Alexian Brothers Health System – with opening day on Thursday, June 5, 9am – 2pm. Located prominently in downtown Elgin at 200 N. Grove Avenue, near the Centre of Elgin, Gail Borden Public Library, and Hemmens Cultural Center, this weekly outdoor market will run for eighteen consecutive weeks thru October 2.


Opening day at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market will consist of:


  • Davey Tree tote bags  and Harvest Market buttons for customers
  • More than 20 area vendors who offer locally grown and produced fresh  vegetables, fruits, breads, meat, cheese,9102550647_927325b234 spices, honey, herbs, olive oil, soaps and lotions, caramel popcorn, knife sharpening, wooden items, and concessions complete with coffee drinks.
  • WRMN 1410 will be present at the market with their Radio Shopping Show to remind folks to think of them when planning their summertime fun whether local waterparks, waterpark stays or complete fun packs for the Dells. They will also be giving away waterpark passes to Magic Waters, Coco Keys and Elgin Aquatic.
  • GW07Weekly live entertainment will be sponsored by the Grand Victoria Casino – promoting local musicians at a daytime venue in Downtown Elgin with opening day including acoustic musician Greg Wheaton playing 9:30am – 11:30am and Strings of Silk trio performing noon – 2pm.
  • Along with accepting Link, Debit, and Credit cards the market in partnership BMO Harris Bank will again be offering a double value for those customers who use Link.  Use your Link card at the market and it will be matched up to $20.00 in additional Link tokens per person, per week.
  • Regular customers will also want to stop by the information booth to sign up for a free market challenge card to collect stamps when they shop and do something healthy and get rewards throughout the season.  Opening day they will receive free water bottles from the Grand Victoria Casino!
  • Two weekly local artist booths with different art exhibits and art for sale – organized by Art for All and Side Street Studio Arts.
  • Shared Harvest Elgin Food Cooperative will also be out at the market every week helping their local shareholders in selling their extra produce and goods.
  • Weekly Interactive, informational community and sponsor booths focusing on wellness, environment, sustainability, and the community will be out in full swing with 20 plus non-profits and businesses coming out through the summer.
  • Back for its second year, starting June 12 will be the “Rainbowland: An Adventure at the Market” kid’sboy programming catered to 4yrs old through 6th grade running for ten weeks noon – 2pm.   Sponsored by presenting sponsor Alexian Brothers Health Systems this program will be featuring three 20 minutes sessions from active fitness fun, to cooking demos, to an interactive activity, and fun stuff to bring home!

For more details about weekly events, vendor information, live entertainment and attractions at the 2014 Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, visit

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market is presented by Alexian Brothers Health System and is sponsored by Davey Tree Expert Company, Waste Management, Chiro One Wellness Center, D’Angelo Natural Spring Water, Daisy Bliss Yoga, Shared Harvest Elgin Food Cooperative, Wolko Design Group, and Ziegler’s Ace Hardware.

For more information on the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market or how to get involved, please contact Harvest Market manager Jennifer Benson at 847-488-1456 or via email at



2014 Harvest Market Vendor Applications Available


Spring has sprung and with it opportunities to promote your business, and the products that you grow or make,  in Downtown Elgin at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market! Learn more about this 18 week long event that happens every Thursday morning and early afternoon, beginning June 5, next to the Gail Borden Public Library!

2014 Vendor Application
(Online registration is open before and during the season)
This is for farmers (veggie, fruit, or animal), bakers, food artisans, artists, etc.  If you grow it, make it, or mix and bake it – fill out this form.