May 16, 2013 update - Grand Rapids Downtown Market, an all-new destination for local food innovation, education and experimentation, today announced Sweetie-licious, the renowned bakery café in DeWitt, Mich. expand with a second location in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.
Owned and operated by Linda Hundt for more than ten years, Sweetie-licious specializes in pies and other sweet confections and has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the 2011 Crisco 100th Anniversary Innovation award and The Food Network's "Amazing Pie Challenge."
"I've been asked by many people to expand or relocate to a major market city, but expanding to Grand Rapids has been a long-time dream. The city and foodie culture and now the Downtown Market makes the city a perfect fit for my second store," said Hundt.
Hundt has been featured in numerous national and regional television segments, magazine and newspapers including the Today show, Country Living, Midwest Living, and Parade. She is a sought-after keynote speaker on topics including, business, life and love, as well as giving pie-baking demonstrations for hundreds of people at a time.
"West Michigan's food culture is attracting numerous interesting and creative food artisans from outside of the region, and we are thrilled the Downtown Market will become the focal point that brings them all together," said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Market. "Linda's bakery and café has helped turn DeWitt into a destination and we expect her baked goods and relationship with our other vendors will have a similar influence on our Market Hall."
The vision of the Downtown Market is to become the anchor for a Market District within the Heartside neighborhood, as well to serve as a community-gathering place that reflects the diversity and creativity of Grand Rapids and southwest Michigan.
The Downtown Market follows a long tradition of urban markets that were once central components to the food systems in American cities. Today these emerging markets foster positive relationships among diverse groups of people, promote artisan food entrepreneurs and their crafts, encourage sustainable food production, and promote healthy living.
The Market is scheduled to open in August 2013.
April 10, 2013 update - Art of the Table on Wealthy Street has teamed up with Cheesemonger and Chef Kate Leeder to open Aperitivo in the Downtown Market. Aperitivo will be a retail cheese shop, a wine and small bites tasting bar, and a wine and beer purveyor.
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market brings a new food shopping option to the Arena South area that will include purveyors from many segments of the food industry. At the forefront of Aperitivo's 1,200 square feet space will be 20 linear feet of cases full of cheese, charcuterie , pâté and other related items available for sample and sold by the pound. The knowledgeable staff will be available to guide in choosing cheese for hors d'oeuvres, party plates, lunch, dinner or dessert.
As an independently-owned, neighborhood specialty shop, Aperitivo will also specialize in affordable, everyday wines, many from boutique producers around the state and country as well as imported brands. An ever-changing selection of small-batch beer and ciders will round out the beverage selections.
In addition to retail and the tasting bar, Aperitivo will also host cheese classes and tastings as well as options such as 'grilled cheese of the day' and other small bites for purchase.
Find us on Facebook at:
April 9, 2013 update - Another new tenant has been announced: artisan bakery Field & Fire. Owner Shelby Kibler will bring his wood-fired techniques to bake Fresh baguettes, croissants, sourdough bread and more.
March 21, 2013 update - Three more tenants have been announced: Old World Olive Press, Crescent Floral and Tony's Gourmet Kettle Corn
March 4, 2013 update - The first two tenants of the indoor market have been announced: Love's Ice Cream and Michigan coffee roaster, Simpatico Coffee.
A year-round hub of local food innovation, healthy-living education and right-before-your-eyes preparation. Opening Summer 2013.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has awarded the City of Grand Rapids a $1 million grant to support the redevelopment of an underutilized downtown property into a year-round, indoor-outdoor public market. The grant, funded by the voter-approved Clean Michigan Initiative Brownfield program, will pay to clean up contaminated soils and remove existing dilapidated buildings on the site in the city's Heartside neighborhood.
"We deeply appreciate the state's investment in the project and our community," saidCity of Grand Rapids Economic Development Director Kara Wood. "The urban market project will support West Michigan's growing local food movement, create opportunities for entrepreneurship, help stimulate hundreds of new jobs for area residents and serve as a catalyst for additional downtown redevelopment."
"This funding is a significant boost to the project and will allow our private fundraising effort to focus exclusively on building the market rather than cleaning up the site," said Jon Nunn, executive director of Grand Action, a not-for-profit organization of civic leaders focused on advancing urban revitalization projects in Grand Rapids. "We are extremely grateful for this contribution."
Grand Action in March 2010 announced the findings and recommendations of a
feasibility study which determined a permanent public market could help catalyze urban revitalization, generate jobs and new economic activity and expand access to fresh foods in downtown Grand Rapids.
The study recommended a mixed-use development concept combining facilities for food production and retailing, farmer produce distribution, tastings, a seasonal outdoor farmers' market, as well as food and health education. The former Sonneveldt site at the intersection of Ionia Avenue and Wealthy Street, which is owned by the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority, was identified as the preferred site based on, among other factors, its high visibility, potential to stimulate new investment and convenient accessibility by car, foot and transit.
The total estimated project development cost is $28 million. The MDEQ grant of $1
million, the maximum amount available to a single project, is based on the proposed project's ability to achieve such agency goals as the remediation of environmental contamination, leveraging of private investment and promotion of urban redevelopment. The funds enable the clean-up and building removal work to begin this winter on the proposed urban market site.
The MDEQ grant comes in addition to approximately $4.7 million in support committed by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority in November 2011. Grand Action continues to work closely with community partners to identify and pursue additional financing opportunities and develop a proposed construction timeline. If the project raises the necessary funding on a timely basis, the project partners anticipate opening the market for the 2013 season.
*August 1, 2013 is an estimated date*