The Maryland Food Center Authority started as the Greater Baltimore Consolidated Wholesale Food Market Authority authorized by the General Assembly in 1967 (Chapter 145, Acts of 1967). The Authority was formed to establish and run a consolidated food center within the Greater Baltimore Region. In 1975, the Authority was reorganized as the Maryland Wholesale Food Center Authority (Chapter 729, Acts of 1975). The Authority received its present name in 1979 (Chapter 482, Acts of 1979).

A public instrumentality of the State, the Maryland Food Center Authority operates the Wholesale Produce and Seafood Markets at the Maryland Food Center, the Rock Hall Clam House, and other food-related developments in Maryland. The Authority also leases office, storage and dock space to food services and distribution.

Operations of the Authority are funded by entrance and registration fees, service fees, and rental income generated from the operation of its produce and seafood markets. The agency receives no State General Funds.

The Authority has twelve members. Eight are named to five-year terms by the Governor with Senate advice and consent. Four serve ex officio (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 10-201 through 10-229).


Market Operations began as Market Management and assumed its current name in 2018. It oversees the Maryland Food Center near Jessup in Howard County and the Rock Hall Clam House in Kent County.


Governing almost 400 acres, the Maryland Food Center includes the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market, the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market; a Cross Dock Facility, a truck parking lot, all of which are owned and operated by the Authority. With many different types of food operations at one site, the Center provides quality food products efficiently and inexpensively.

Immediately adjacent to Interstate 95, at the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Maryland Route 175, the Center is in Howard County near Jessup. Rail-served, the Center is less than 20 minutes from shippers through the Port of Baltimore or BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Currently in the development stage, the Maryland Market Center will consist of two sites. The first site is located adjacent to the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market, while the second site adjoins the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market. New facilities are envisioned for food storage and processing, a retail farmers' market, storage buildings for dry goods and common cold storage, and a commercial kitchen available for tenant use or for lease by community food-related businesses. The pace of development will be based on demand.

7460 Conowingo Ave., Jessup, MD 20794

In 1976, the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market began operation. The Maryland Food Center Authority leases space in the Market to privately-owned firms engaged in the wholesale distribution of fresh produce. The Market is a critical link in the daily supply of produce to restaurants, chain grocers, hotels, wholesale food processors, and consumer buying groups.

The Market distributes an enormous volume of produce, including exotic varieties and items which might otherwise be unavailable unless purchased in very large shipments. In its two buildings (covering 330,000 square feet of terminal space), virtually any type of produce grown in the United States and around the world is available daily.

7901-A Oceano Ave., Jessup, MD 20794

When the Baltimore Fish Market closed in 1984, the Maryland Wholesale Seafood Market opened.

The Market is a regional seafood distribution facility for the Mid-Atlantic. Wholesalers market fresh seafood from the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic waters, as well as exotic imports, to restaurants, grocers, and specialty stores.

The Market consists of over 112,000 square feet of packing, refrigeration and distribution space. It is open six days a week all year, closing occasionally on holidays. Several merchants also sell seafood products to the general public on a retail basis.


The Rock Hall Clam House in Kent County was acquired by the Maryland Food Center Authority in 1990 and operated as the Rock Hall Seafood Processing Plant until 1997. It closed to all operations in January 2004. In cooperation with the Town of Rock Hall and the Rock Hall community, the Plant was rededicated as the Rock Hall Clam House in November 2013.

The Clam House is home to four maritime business and local watermen who rent its seven boat slips.


Real Estate and Finance originated as Finance and Leasing and received its current name in 2018. The Maryland Food Center Authority's responsibility for leasing office, storage and dock space to food services and distribution is carried out by Financing and Leasing. This division also is responsible for Records Management.

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