Dreaming of a wedding among the produce stands and mini restaurants of a York City institution?

Cindy Steele is the woman to ask.

The stewards of Central Market announced Tuesday that Steele is the new chief operating officer of the city's downtown gem.

Steele, 49, is taking over for Casi Babinchak, who stepped down in September.

"I've always been a lover of farmers' markets," Steele said.

Most recently, Steele spent six years as the director of operations for the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, the market's next-door neighbor.

That's no coincidence, said Joel Snyder, president of the market's board of directors.

"Cindy really impressed the entire board," Snyder said. "Coming from the Strand immediately behind market, having good connections in downtown York and understanding our customer base were all real positives."

In her new job, Steele said she's aiming to achieve 100 percent capacity for the market. Currently, the market's vendor stands are about 80 percent full, she said.

Steele said she's eager to promote the market as a place for events, including weddings. Steele said she's also hoping to host more events and featured entertainment during market hours -- "things that bring families into the market."

As for vendors, Steele said she'd love to find an artisan baker and someone to open a meat and poultry stand.

She said she'd like to see more farmers offering local seasonal produce, like corn and peaches, occupy the final 20 percent of available market space.

"That's the route we're going to go," she said. "We're sort of at the limit with prepared-food vendors."

-- Reach Erin James at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.