Opening this summer, the Downtown Market of Grand Rapids will be a year-round center for tantalizing aromas, juicy produce, and liberating experiences. This will change the way Grand Rapidians live. Local farmers and chefs are coming together in a big way: a three-story, 138,000-square-foot way.
According to a study conducted by Market Ventures, Inc., West Michigan is the idyllic spot for this new market. West Michigan has superb produce. We also have the demand for that produce. Additionally, the community support in Grand Rapids is unmatched, and consequently the Market is already on a good path.
The Downtown Market will be placed in the Heartside neighborhood, just south of Wealthy Street, on 435 Ionia. The plan is for the downtown area to extend this way, where the urban-chic neighborhood is rapidly growing. While the plot of land may have started out as nothing more than a pile of dirt and some well-utilized bulldozers, this summer the market will erupt as a living, breathing centre for the local food movement. Not only will there be a marketplace lined with stalls of vibrant greens of carrot tops, pinks and whites of freshly-caught fish, and the sheen of artisan bread crusts, but rooftop greenhouses and live food demonstrations (including the first kids’ demo kitchen!) are to be expected among the Market’s many offerings.
Among the many vendors will be Love’s Ice Cream, Simpatico Coffee, Dorothy and Tony’s Gourmet Kettle Corn, Crescent Floral, Old World Olive Press, and more to be announced as the opening date hastens toward us. The monstrous building will include: a wellness center, two restaurants, a market hall, a retail center, a farmers market stand, a kids’ kitchen, rooftop greenhouses, a kitchen incubator, an area for education and events, and a meeting room. It sounds like you could be stuck in here for days!
This sounds like a praise-worthy locale already, right? To add to all that this concept has going for it, the building will be 50% heated by on-site geotherm wells. This is just one facet the market has in the form of sustainability. Recycled material from the old Grand Rapids Herald’s paper storage facility will lie right underneath the parking lot! Also, the wood inside the building is repurposed from the old building.
The Downtown Market will bring people from all different walks of life together to get excited about food. Whether you go there to shop for local food or as a destination on your vacation, the Market is destined for success. So no matter if you’re just in the market for some gourmet chocolates for a special someone, some stellar fish for a summer meal, or to get your creative mind going with a food demonstration, the Downtown Market is the place to be this summer and beyond. Mark your calendars and bring your wallets!