Ida Papert Founder of Dallas Farmers Market Friends is Dead

Mama Ida and the winning team of Joshua Webster, Elvin Westbrook, Charles Miller, and Aaron Cessac at the Third Annual Mama Ida's Ice Cream Social in 2008.

I am so sad to report that Ida Papert passed away last night. Mama Ida has been a driving force behind the Dallas Farmers Market since the mid-50s. Her tireless efforts to make the Farmers Market a vibrant force in downtown Dallas are well-known among foodies, farmers, and bureaucrats alike. In 1991, she formed the Dallas Farmers Market Friends, an advocacy group that boasts more than 400 members, and, in 1993, she joined forces with the American Institute of Wine and Food to start cooking classes in the Market’s Shed No. 2.

Each summer the Dallas Farmers Market Friends hosts the Mama Ida’s Ice Cream Social.  Local culinary students and kids from the Dallas County Youth Village are given local ingredients and a chance to compete for a cash prize. She was a tireless fighter for farmers and local ingredients. Personally, I can not imagine a world without Mama Ida. She was a dear friend and the most loving, giving person I’ve ever know.

Mama Ida, we will miss you. I think we should organize a effort to name one of the sheds after Mama Ida.


  • 2003 D Magazine Celebrity Chef Cruise through the Carribean – remember? Am looking through all my pictures to find one I know I have of her. Didn’t she get out on the dance floor with Monica (hel*, didn’t we all?).

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  • Yvonne Crum

    Oh, I am so bummed about this .. I adored her.. she is an amazing lady… you will be missed.. RIP.

  • Amy, I am searching for my pictures of Ida on the D cruise. Yes Ida was on the dance floor every night. What a special woman.

  • Very sad news indeed.

  • Frank Poe

    A great friend and supporter of the Dallas Farmers Market. I am sadden with her passing, yet her legacy will live on through her tireless efforts to make the DFM the very best. A sad day for Dallas.

  • Monica Greene

    My heart aches…. she was a fun, loving passionate individual.. she made Joanne and I feel special every time we participated at the Farmers Market events… yes, I did dance with her…. thanks for the memories

  • Aimee

    I’m sad to hear this news about sweet but tough-as-nails mama Ida. I’m so glad we went to lunch together a few years ago. I have some photos here at the house from that fantastic and crazy cruise.