ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s a frigid Saturday morning as the vendors set up their stalls and the first visitors arrive at the City of Rochester Public Market. Assistant Market Supervisor Evan Lowenstein is getting ready for another hectic shift at the city’s thriving outdoor marketplace.
A native of Upstate New York, Lowenstein and his family moved to Rochester in the late 1990s. He has a background in urban planning and community development. And he has what he calls the perfect job that allows him to share his passion for the market with his community. Lowenstein’s love of the market is contagious.
“I get to be intimately involved in a century-old urban experiment,” Lowenstein said.
The market is a unique place in Rochester as it attracts people from all social and economic backgrounds.
“What’s great about this place is that diversity doesn’t just exist here, it works here,” he said.
In his position, Lowenstein is in charge of communications and marketing, coordinating special events, and working with community groups on special elements and programming at the market. He also assists with the day-to-day administration and management of the market, as well as the short- and long-term planning for this Rochester institution.
Lowenstein is especially proud of the market’s Token Program for SNAP recipients, which makes it easy for those recipients to get healthy, fresh, affordable food. This program generated over $1 million in local commerce last year alone.
“I’m very proud of our SNAP program here. It’s the gold standard nationwide,” he explained.
He’s also a proud member of AFSCME Local 1635, which represents over a thousand Rochester city employees.
“I’ve been very impressed with the quality and affordability of health insurance that we have in our contract. I’m glad to be in this union,” he said.
And although his job has challenges, Lowenstein said, “Working for your local government is a fantastic way to apply your civic interests because you’re part of the machinery that runs the community. In a place like here, you can be a change maker. I see the impact I can have and that’s rewarding for me.”
Because of dedicated public service workers like Evan Lowenstein, the City of Rochester Public Market remains the beating heart of this city’s landscape.