10 Things to Look Forward to when Grand Rapids Downtown Market Opens this Saturday!

FRESH FRUITAfter months of anticipation, it’s finally here, folks… The outdoor section of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market on Ionia Ave will officially open tomorrow morning at the stroke of 8:00 AM!

This momentous milestone marks an exciting and fresh new chapter in the city of Grand Rapids’ downtown residential and retail expansion. Here are 10 things you can look forward to when the Downtown Market opens tomorrow:

1. Over 200 free parking spots! That’s right, an adjacent lot will have room for over 200 vehicles to park for no cost at all. If you want to take advantage of the convenience of the lot, you’ll want to get there early, though. For those who miss out, you can still get a close spot at the metered spaces available along Ionia.

2. 80 vendors offering up fresh West Michigan wares! B&B Farms, Crane Dance Farm, Fish Monger’s Wife, Great Harvest Bread Co., Klackle Orchards, Robinette’s Winery & Apple Haus, The Great American Bagel and Visser Farms are just a handful of names you’ll see when browsing the market. Leave yourself plenty of time to visit them all!

3. First LEED certified Outdoor Market in the country! Also known as ‘West Michigan’s first Communal Table’, the market project, which will soon include a year-round Indoor Marketplace of artisan retailers, a restaurant, bakery, brewery, commercial kitchen and rooftop greenhouse, will be 25,000 total square feet of scrumptious sustainability!

4. Opening Day music and street performers.  Bring the kids, because this farmer’s market is going to offer a whole lot more than just vegetables!

5. Eventual Food Cart & Food Truck vendors. Yep, plans are in the works for your favorite downtown Grand Rapids food cart and food truck vendors to have a regular presence at the Downtown Market. Asian Tacos, anyone?

6. Doughnuts! Doughnuts at a farmer’s market?! Well, sure, why not? After all, these aren’t your standard office break room doughnuts, no, we’re talking made-fresh-in-front-you, eat-’em-while-they’re-still-warm homestyle doughnuts by the boys at Go Nuts Donuts. Flavors will range from traditional powdered to chocolate chili powder. Treat the kids, then treat yourself. Hey, it’s all in the name of supporting local food, right?

7. SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks, Senior Fresh & WIC Coupons Accepted. An on-site ATM machine will also offer maximum convenience for all consumers.

8. Weekday  hours. Can’t get out to the market on Saturdays? No worries, it will also be open on Tuesdays throughout the summer from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM and Thursday evenings from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Stop by during your workday and grab the freshest office lunch you can imagine or pick up some ingredients turn a ho hum weeknight dinner into something AMAZING!

9. No competition with your friends at the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market. The longstanding downtown Grand Rapids landmark will still be operating out of its usual location on Fulton Street in conjunction with the Outdoor Market, and you’ll see your favorite vendors representing both locations. Take your pick from day to day, switch it up from week to week, or visit both in one morning and make a new resolution to do the bulk of your grocery shopping at both of Grand Rapids’ wonderfully abundant farmer’s markets!

10. Beautiful weather. The grand opening of the Outdoor Market will pair perfectly with a long awaited spell of gorgeous spring- and even summerlike weather that’s finally descended upon us Grand Rapidians. Forecast for tomorrow is 70s and sunny, so grab your sandals and a loved one and head on out to enjoy a fresh new retail experience in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids!

The Outdoor Market is located on 435 Iona SW and will open on Saturday, May 4. It will remain open on a seasonal schedule of Saturdays & Tuesdays from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM, and Thursdays from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

For more information about Downtown Grand Rapids living, please contact the Steve Volkers Group at (616) 284-1528.