The Downtown Detroit Markets will return to Cadillac Square, Capitol Park, and 1441 Woodward this spring and summer with more than 30 local vendors, a chef incubator, a farmers market and beer garden May 24-August 31.
The program is an extension of the Downtown Detroit Markets that first appeared during Winter in Detroit that ran from November to February and generated more than $2 million in sales. It is produced by Bedrock Detroit and the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund through a deal with the Downtown Detroit Partnership, which operates the city’s downtown parks.
“We wanted to continue to give entrepreneurs a platform,” said Francesca George, director of tenant relations and experience for Bedrock. “We wanted it to be affordable and we want them to be profitable and to succeed.”
The market is set to open May 24 in Cadillac Square, Capitol Park and 1441 Woodward Ave. Vending in Detroit’s public parks will be split up into two approximately six-week periods. The second one starts in early July and runs through early August. At 1441 Woodward, 12 vendors will be set up May 24-Aug. 31.
The spring/summer batch of vendors includes a mix of new and returning small businesses, 50 percent of which are based in Detroit and most of which sell clothing and accessories. Some of the local brands and shops coming to the Downtown Detroit Markets include Pingree Detroit, David Vintage, Detroit Dough, Motor City Popcorn, Pewabic Pottery, Elaine B., 12thand Viv, and much more.
Darian Cook is the owner of 12thand Viv, which specializes in making homemade soy candles, body butters, hand soaps, and more. Cook started her company in 2015 to cut down on her cost of making candles and seen her business grow in just a short time. She will be able to sell her products at 1441 Woodward from May-August.
“I’m extremely excited,” she said about the opportunity. “I’ve been given opportunities for people from all over to experience my products first hand and I’m receiving positive reviews. This opportunity is amazing.”
In Cadillac Square, Central Kitchen + Bar is planning to partner with the DDP for a beer garden. In Capitol Park, there are plans for a weekly farmers market and to team with Birmingham-based Heirloom Hospitality Group LLC to bring in a rotation of local chefs for a few days at a time to prepare custom plates.
“It really is just giving chefs that maybe can’t afford brick and mortar an outlet to create a fun dining experience in the city that is constantly changing,” George said.
Cost to vendors for renting space at the markets for the six-week period ranges from $250 for a spot at 1441 Woodward to $1,000 for a 130-square-foot glass booth in one of the parks. Vendor locations are not yet finalized. Bedrock said bout 175 vendors applied for 30 spaces this spring/summer, compared with 75 the first time around.