435 Ionia Ave., SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Opened in September 2013, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is growing and changing all the time. With an indoor Market Hall open seven days a week, an outdoor farmer’s market open on summer Saturdays, a teaching kitchen, an incubator kitchen and fun, free public events, the Market is a food-lovers’ paradise.
The Downtown Market is built on the site of a former factory building, and uses much of the repurposed wood for interior beams and accent walls. The building is LEED-Gold certified, one of the first urban markets in the country to receive this prestigious certification, and features a green roof, live walls, geothermal wells, rain gardens and plenty of other innovative sustainable features.
With more than 20 food artisans inside, the Market Hall is a place to meet for coffee, have a casual meal and shop for necessities, including local produce and meats, fresh fish, jellies, beer and wine, and bread baked that morning. Common seating areas upstairs and on the outdoor terrace make a lovely setting to enjoy a meal.
Have a few extra minutes? Take the time to talk with the business owners about their products and their business – this is a group of passionate chefs and foodies who are totally invested in creating and selling the best products possible. They’ll likely talk to you about where their ingredients come from, how their food is made (mostly right in front of your eyes at the Market) and provide recipe ideas or cooking suggestions.
For even more dining options, two full-service restaurants are coming this summer: Social Kitchen & Bar and Slow’s Bar-B-Q. Both founded on the east side of the state, these restaurants will bring nationally renowned BBQ and deliciously refined comfort food to the Market’s already stellar offerings.
The Outdoor Market, open on Saturdays from May through September, is the place to shop for fresh local produce and hand-crafted food items. Shoppers can expect to find locally-grown flowers, fruit, vegetables and locally-raised meat and dairy products as well as locally-made baked goods, honey, maple syrup, sweet treats and more. In the eleven county area that makes West Michigan, there are 12,200 farms. The Downtown Market sees the greatest opportunity of our community is making better food decisions, because food that is grown in our region is better for the environment and the West Michigan economy.
Entertainment, cooking demos and hands-on kids activities are also a big art of Saturdays at the Outdoor Market. Demos by local chefs help shoppers with ideas for how to prepare their in-season produce, and kids will be entertained by coloring, learning about fruits and veggies and even physical games and activities like tumbling!
While most residents know the Downtown Market as a place to purchase delicious food, either grown locally, or produced using local ingredients by expert artisans, they may not know it is also a destination for learning about the food we eat.
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market has made it their mission to help residents learn about what we eat, where it comes from and the effect it has on our bodies. From public classes and seminars for startup businesses to partnerships with local educational institutions, learning is part of the fun.
Nearly every night of the week, there is at least one class going on at the Downtown Market. From cooking classes for kids and teens to chef’s tasting dinners, the educational classes offered in the Market’s Demo Kitchen and Teaching Kitchen are great for families, date night or even a ladies’ night on the town. Have little ones interested in helping in the kitchen? The counters move up and down on a hydraulic system to accommodate even the tiniest chefs!
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market’s Incubator Kitchen works as a catalyst for both cooperative education and small business development. It’s an inclusive space for food start-ups and entrepreneurs who are seeking resources, support, and technical assistance.
Building upon Grand Rapid’s growing local food movement, the Incubator Kitchen strives to foster entrepreneurship, good food, and community. Affordable kitchen rates and practical business tools give budding entrepreneurs a leg up in starting food businesses. Our community enables us to create, build, and cultivate processes to develop an ecosystem of good food businesses as part of Grand Rapid’s identity.
The licensed commercial kitchen spaces are open 24/7 and are fully outfitted with professional-grade equipment ready for food production, packaging, prepping, catering, and more.