Background: The Lexington Farmers’ Market was founded in 2004 by three local residents looking to connect local farmers and food producers with residents in Lexington and nearby communities. It’s an idea that has taken root and grown! From May – October, thirty farmers and vendors meet in the historic center of Lexington to sell directly to an average of 700-800 customers a week in this “producer-only” market. In a sign of its stability and success, the LFM also holds a Thanksgiving FEASTival and a Small Yet Mighty Winter Market hosted by a local school from January-March. The market was recently recognized by Clean Living Magazine as one of “America’s 50 Best Farmers’ Markets.”
Legal Need: Facing a change in market leadership, the LFM Advisory Board knew that in order to provide organizational continuity, it was time to change the legal structure of the LFM. Rosie Wall, Market Manager and sole proprietor at the time, sought legal assistance in taking the LFM from a sole proprietorship to a non-profit organization to ensure that the farmers’ market that had been built over many years would continue to serve the Lexington community.
The Relationship: Legal Food Hub matched the LFM with attorneys John Lerner and Mary-Laura Greely at Pierce Atwood, who assisted in obtaining non-profit status for the market. The LFM is now overseen by a Board of Directors and run by a Market Manager staff member, allowing it to continue to provide healthy food and social connection to a large and growing community.