Darlene Wolnik’s background runs the gamut from community organizing on pocketbook issues to retail design and management including more than 20 years as a certified mystery shopper. Wolnik has a long association with food systems and farmers markets, starting with her decade-long tenure at Market Umbrella in New Orleans, first as Deputy Director overseeing the organization’s Crescent City Farmers Markets, White Boot Brigades and the fair trade holiday market Festivus, as well as the reboot of the food system after the multiple disasters of 2005-2010. Her work also included the development of the Marketshare program which designed over 100 individual “shares” or best practices for market managers as well assisting with the rollout of the grassroots measurement tool, SEED.
Since 2011, Wolnik has operated as a national consultant working on dozens of local, state and national-level projects for farmers markets, authoring the Vermont Market Currency Report (2012) and the Gulfport Local Food Awareness Report (2014). Since 2015, she has served as part-time staff at Farmers Market Coalition as the Senior Researcher, focusing on the development of the Farmers Market Metrics program and the Farmers Market Legal Toolkit. She maintains a popular market blog at www.darlenewolnik.com and a website at helpingpublicmarketsgrow.com