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On the Ground: A Welcoming Atmosphere at Central Market

August 01, 2022
Taryn Cook in Central Market

At first glance, York College of Pennsylvania may look like a typical campus in a typical college town—but look a little closer, and you’ll discover a community full of hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems. In our On the Ground series, we explore some of YCP’s most meaningful places and spaces with help from our own Spartan students.

For Taryn Cook ’24, the variety of experiences available at Central Market in downtown York presents an appealing atmosphere.

“You walk in and you feel automatically at home,” she says.

Central Market opened in 1888 and is housed in the original building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located on 34 West Philadelphia Street, the Market hosts a variety of vendors and services, including Amish Pastries, Russy’s Sweet Treats, Our Sons and Daughters Soaps, and Get Hype, which offers vegan and gluten-free pastries and baked goods, among other shops.

As a Hospitality and Tourism Management major, spending time at a local destination such as Central Market is crucial to Taryn’s training.

“Visiting places like Central Market…helps in more ways than one,” she explains. The Market allows her to figure out what people are looking for, and in turn, she can apply that information to her studies.

“[The Market] exposes me to different types of people in a short time span. It also helps show which people are in the area, and what they look for in a place, in terms of food, atmosphere/ambiance, and price. Those things [combine] to give me a better idea of expectations [to be aware of].”

Taryn initially visited Central Market during her first year at York College. She found out about First Fridays, which take place on the first Friday of every month. Shops and businesses in downtown York stay open longer on these days, and Central Market is included.

“I kept seeing this random shuttle bus that [was] leaving on Fridays, but it wasn't for the shuttle stops,” she says. “And then I found out that it was for Central Market.”

Taryn particularly enjoys Foltz’s Pretzels, which also offers a variety of lemonades.

“So [Foltz’s is] right when you walk in, [right by] the main entrance…[it’s] a lemonade place,” she says. “And I love lemonade. [It’s] one of my favorite drinks, and they have all types of [it]. They had a carrot lemonade and spinach lemonade you wouldn't even think of.”

For Taryn, the Market itself is an experience.

“In my head, the most memorable thing about Central Market is the fact that it's so picturesque. There are so many spots to take really cool Instagram photos,” she adds. “The other thing that makes it picturesque is…[the fairy lights] strung across awning to awning. I really felt like I was walking into my Pinterest board.”

According to Taryn, taking pictures is a worthwhile experience, but meeting people at the market is also a draw, too.

“While you're there you're going to do so much more than just take pictures,” she explains. “People will talk to you. Everyone is really nice. The vendors are going to talk to you about something. You go for one [aspect], but you stay for more.”