Lynda Suda manages one of the city’s favorite places to spend time — Five Rivers MetroPark’s 2nd Street Market.
The pandemic has altered normal operations, but the venue is holding outdoor-only markets each Saturday with plans to continue through October.
“The market is an inclusive place where people can be themselves, relax and get to know the people who grow, raise and prepare their food,” Suda said.
If you haven’t visited the market, our Daytonian of the Week will tell you why this downtown Dayton gem is special.
Tell us about your background. What has led you to this point in your career?
I was born and raised in Spokane, Wash. After spending a few years in both Philadelphia, PA and Denver, CO, my husband Marc and I moved our family to Dayton 16 years ago this month. We enjoyed raising our two sons, Tyme and Zhen, and helping Marc’s ailing mother in the same neighborhood Marc grew up in, Five Oaks.
My work background has mostly been connected to small, family owned retail businesses. Prior to moving to Dayton, most of that experience was artisan jewelry related, but when I moved to Dayton, I was able to combine my retail experience with my interest in health and wellness. The first opportunity to do so, came when I started working at and eventually managing a local health food store. After being there ten years, as the owner put it, “it was time for a change”. I went back to school, finishing my liberal studies degree at Antioch Midwest University with a focus on integrated health and wellness.
While at Antioch, the opportunity to work for Five Rivers MetroParks (something I’d wanted to do since moving to Dayton) presented itself with the 2nd Street Market coordinator position. Gratefully, I was hired and enjoyed working and learning the ropes with my predecessor, Jimmy Harless, for two years. When Jimmy announced his retirement, I applied and took over as market manager in December of 2018.
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For those who may not be familiar, what is the 2nd Street Market?
The 2nd Street Market is a year-round public market located in a historical freight depot in downtown Dayton. It is home to a variety of farmers, specialty food, prepared food and artisan vendors providing a unique shopping experience. Normally it is a vibrant community gathering space that features local musicians and other family-friendly programming. You can purchase everything you need to prepare healthy, delicious meals, as well as unique handcrafted gifts and delicious prepared foods.