The West Ward Market, which opened in June and offers fresh produce, made-from-scratch pastries and breads, pantry staples and more, will return in 2023 after a successful debut, Easton officials announced Friday.

According to a press release from the Greater Easton Development Partnership, which also operates the market, the new venture, which was held on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on 12th Street between Paxinos Elementary School and Cottingham Stadium, averaged about 500 people each week. like the Easton Public Market and the Easton Farmers Market.

Surveys conducted during the season with the assistance of Lafayette College showed that the vast majority of buyers came from Easton’s West Ward. The market was designed to provide a regular supply of fresh produce and pantry samples to the Western District, which is a food desert.

Along with serving the West Ward, surveys indicated that about 15% of shoppers were cross-shoppers from the Easton Farmers’ Market, the nation’s oldest continuously operating outdoor market.

The West Ward Market received seed funding from the Air Products Foundation through the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley as part of an effort to expand education and food programs in the Lehigh Valley. It was one of three local initiatives supported by the investment.

With the support of its partners—the West Ward Community Initiative (GEDP program), Paxinosa Elementary, the YMCA, Lafayette College/LaFarm and the Kellyn Foundation—the West Ward Market has also established itself as a community gathering place. Nearly 20 community organizations participated in the fair, including the YMCA and Community Bike Works to Overtown Media & Arts, Third Street Alliance and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

West Ward Market’s first season ended in September. To continue providing West Ward families with fresh produce, the Kaelin Foundation, host of WWM, will continue to sell produce on North 12th Street on Wednesdays through November before switching to an online ordering/pick-up model for the winter.