Marti Mikkelson of WUWM writes about the renewal of a Market once on the edge of failure that is now a model of success.
If you have visited the Public Market in downtown Milwaukee recently, you may have discovered a lively place. Tables filled with customers eating or drinking and others standing in line to purchase items. The Market was not always crowded; in fact at one point it was on the brink of closing. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, the trend is a growing one across the country.
Walk into the Milwaukee Public Market any day and it’s bustling. Merchants behind their counters sell everything from burritos to baked potatoes. Arthur Ircink just purchased a bowl of soup. He says he’s been coming here nearly every day for the past few years and now notices he has plenty of company.
“It’s getting busier, there’s more business moving into the Third Ward. There’s a great selection here. I think they did a good job on constructing the layout of this place and bringing it back,” Ircink says.
…bringing it back from the edge of failure. The place was about a month shy of closing, with vendor after vendor leaving. Tim Collins says he was plenty nervous. He owns the St. Paul Fish Company, one of the original tenants when the Milwaukee Public Market opened in October of 2005. Public markets sell fresh, local food, but Collins says when Milwaukee’s opened, it was set up simply as a grocery store.
“They thought it would be fresh, local foods, but more of a retail market, less cooked, less ready foods but that’s not what the market demanded,” Collins says.
What patrons were demanding, according to Collins, was fresh, local food they could either take home or sit down and eat at the market. When new management took over in 2007, it gave vendors the green light to begin serving prepared foods and beverages. Collins says sales soared when he put in tables, a lunch counter and the company’s signature feature – an oyster bar.
Continue reading the article at wuwm.com
S08 E13 – Kyle and Jessica take on the Bayview of Milwaukee in a day of great food and cocktails.
S08 E12 – Wisconsin Foodie visits Spain with Jessica and Karen Bell to see and taste all it has to offer.
S08 E11 – We explore Organic Valley at the Kickapoo Country Fair and All Seasons Farm and watch Organic Valley turn their milk into butter.
S08 E10 – We explore the world of perch at UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Science and at Wendt’s Fish Fry.
S08 E09 – We celebrate Native American culture at Indian Summer and then are treated to a traditional musky meal made with wild rice.
S08 E08 – It’s all things cheese at Cheesetopia where we check out a bunch of cheeses and then profile LaClare Farms and their amazing goat cheeses.
S08 E07 – Stoney Acres Farm hosts a pizza night with ingredients right from their farm.
S08 E06 – In this episode, we join George Bregar at Company Brewing as he makes a pale ale with fresh, locally sourced hops. Then we celebrate Oktoberfest with Deb and Dan Carey of New Glarus Brewing.
Wisconsin Foodie is organizing Cheesemaker tours this Spring/Summer and we’d like you to join us.
S08 E05 – This week we tour the driftless region and visit Driftless Organics, Viroqua Food Co-Op, and Rooted Spoon.