Photos By Katie Kildee
Starting in February, the Flint Farmers’ Market is going to look a little different – but don’t worry! The market will still operate in the same way we have come to know and love, just with some new faces and new vendors sharing the space.
“Every year, we like to evaluate the Market and try to find the right mix,” explains Market Manager, Karianne Martus. “When a business decides to leave, it opens up opportunities for newcomers to find space and current vendors to expand. This will be the biggest change we have made in a long time.” New opportunities emerged when vendors Semi-Sweets, Chubby Duck Asian Fusion and Spectacular Spudz decided to pursue other opportunities. “The owner of Semi-Sweets decided to retire the bakery,” Martus informs, “while the owner of Chubby Duck is pursuing his lucrative catering business.” For those of you who love the tastiness that is Spectacular Spudz, don’t fret – the perfect potato purveyor will continue. “They outgrew us,” says Martus. “We are so proud and happy that they were able to secure their own restaurant space in Downtown Flint. The Flint Farmers’ Market is a business incubator and we love to see our vendors thrive and expand although sometimes, it is sad when they go.” Along with Spectacular Spudz, B-Dogs Hot Dog Cart will also expand with a location in Davison while retaining their presence at the Market.
“The Flint Farmers’ Market is a business incubator and we love to see our vendors thrive and expand although sometimes, it is sad when they go.”
Karianne Martus, Marketing Manager
With all the open space, a few current vendors were able to move or expand in other areas of the Market.
Moves & Expansions
Everyone’s favorite coffee shop at the Market has moved to the front of the building and has added a new twist. “Penny’s Café now has a walk-up window that will allow them to do business on the Market’s off days,” says Martus. “In fact, if all goes well, we are considering adding this feature for other businesses.”
Porter’s Orchard & Donuts
This popular vendor has moved to its new location opposite the dining area along the main aisle and will continue to offer Market patrons their donuts, coffee, cider, honey, apples and slushies.
Michigan at the Market
Expanding its space across the aisle, this shop will now sell candies and sweets. “When the space opened up, they were one of the first to inquire,” says Martus. “We love that they are doing well at the Market and are able to offer more to our customers!”
Market-goers will be happy to see both familiar and new vendors indoors. “We have an extensive waiting list to get in and we are very happy to bring in some of our outside vendors who have been with us for a while,” adds Martus. “We are also very excited to welcome some brand-new faces! Five of the seven new businesses are woman-owned and six are owned by minorities.”
Taste N Life
Owned by Fernando and Olena Bernal, Taste N Life specializes in homemade empanadas and a variety of sauces including chimichurri, guacamole and queso. “We have a location in Saginaw and when we looked into expanding, the Flint Farmers’ Market offered the best bet for us,” says Fernando. Taste N Home is located at the front of the store next to Local Grocer and is open for business.
After selling her delicious desserts from her outdoor Market space, owner Regina Hatter couldn’t be happier that she was invited to move inside. Snacky Brown will be located in the front/southwest corner of the building, directly across from Michigan at the Market.
Joining Regina Hatter and Snacky Brown, Twana Hatter will also be moving from outside to an indoor space located next to Regina in the building’s front/southwest corner. Natural Effecxs sells personal care items and accessories.
Mr. Prince Tacos
Now occupying the former Chubby Duck location, Mr. Prince Tacos – the beloved Flint food truck – will be front and center with a restaurant space near the main entrance. “Mr. Prince has sat outside of the market for years and we are glad we were able to find the space to bring them indoors,” says Martus.
Another outside-to-inside conversion, AT Sweets will take over the baking responsibilities from Semi-Sweets. “They will be located in the current spot of Spectacular Spudz,” says Martus. “Since they need less space, we will be able to open up the area next door for the Flint Children’s Museum.”
I Love Pig
Get ready for some fantastic Cuban sandwiches and arepas! “They are so much fun!” comments Martus. “We can’t wait to have them inside. They will be using our kitchens to make their wonderful food.” I Love Pig will be located across from Charlies’ Smokin’ BBQ and AT Sweets.
Stay Tuned for Sushi!
ICHI Sushi, co-owned by Tim and Erin Archuleta was voted best sushi in San Francisco before the couple decided to move to Flint. Their new restaurant (not named at press time) will be located near the center of the Market and plans to open in March. “We are very excited to have them!” exclaims Martus. “Once Chubby Duck decided to leave, it opened up a chance to bring them in.” Flint native Erin Archuleta cannot wait to get started. “We are looking forward to sharing Japanese food with the community, becoming a part of Flint’s vibrant food culture and seeing all our friends and neighbors regularly,” she states.
The Flint Farmers’ Market continues to be the premier farmers’ market in Michigan and with its new moves and vendors it doesn’t look to be relinquishing that title anytime soon. Congratulations to all the new business owners, and to all the customers who get to experience it all.
See you at the Market!
The Flint Farmers’ Market is looking for new outside vendors, particularly florists and farmers, for the spring and summer seasons. If you are interested in the opportunity, please visit flintfarmersmarket.com and fill out the application or call 810.232.1399.