Market officially opens in new building
“I ‘heart’ the barn” pins, new operating hours schedule and coupons were handed out at Lansing City Market’s grand opening Saturday.
The new Lansing City Market, 325 City Market Drive, is now at 100 percent capacity with the exception of a restaurant. The market had a “soft opening” after the initial move from its previous location, 333 N. Cedar St., in January with only 25 percent to 50 percent of vendors in place.
The new building contains 35 vendors in 11,000 square feet. Some are new additions and others were long-standing in the old market.
“A lot of people are glad to see that they can buy local,” he said. “That seems to be a big thing right now.”
The new building, referred to as “the barn” because of its large red edifice, was often criticized during the planning of the move.
“As I grew up, I was taught in church that the church wasn’t the building, it was the people in the building,” said Scott Keith, president and CEO of Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority.
Keith said the market is a reflection of the local community, and people have been more accepting of it since the initial planning.
The new city market also brings a family tradition closer. Uncle John’s Cider Mill, an annual fall destination for many Michiganians, has an outlet in the new market as well, said co-owner Dede Beck.
Beck said her husband saw an advertisement for the market that mentioned the hope for a winery to open in the new location.
“It gave us the idea because we have a winery at our farm,” Beck said. “That’s what we plan to do here — have wine tasting, wine for sale as well as fresh cider.”
John Hooper, the market‘s manager, said business at the market has been a bit slow leading up to the grand opening, but it is picking up.
Hooper said the two-week turnover from the old market might have confused people who were not aware of the new location.
“People have started to rediscover the market and our traffic has been incredible,” he said.
Glenna Woodworth, a Grand Ledge resident, went to the new market for the first time Saturday.
“I like fresh produce and I like to give back to the farmers and the community who make their own food,” she said. “I love this atmosphere.”
The market now has more consistent hours, a bonus for Emily Katz, an East Lansing resident and MSU visiting assistant professor of philosophy.
“I like that it (has) got more regular hours now, and I’m not wondering when it’s open and when it’s not.” she said.
Keith also said the building’s proximity to the river and Lansing Center has helped bring in customers.
“People who typically rode down the River Trail and never stopped at the old market are now stopping at the new market,” he said.
Hooper said the new attention on the market as well as the new building will keep the market busy.
“From this point on, I don’t see a slow day,” Hooper said. “From customers and vendors alike, they just absolutely love this place.”