Downtown Muskegon’s Western Market set to open May 25 with nine new vendors and eight returning shops

The Western Market in downtown Muskegon. Photo via the Western Market.

Downtown Muskegon’s Western Market is set to make its debut for the 2019 season on Saturday, May 25, with the shopping corridor featuring a total of 17 businesses this yearincluding nine new vendors and eight returning shops.

Located on Western Avenue, between First and Second Streets, in the heart of downtown, this year’s Western Market will feature everything from a new book storerun by the folks behind the Book Nook & Java Shop in Montagueand an ice cream shop to furniture, homemade baby products, and a clothing store dedicated to ridding the world’s waters of plastics pollution. [The complete list of shops is provided at the end of the article.]

The market’s summer season, which will run through Sept. 1, will officially kick off on Saturday, May 25th from 9am to 3pm with live music, food from Papa J’s Hot Dogs, and street performers.

Launched in 2017 as an effort by the city to promote the growth of small, locally-owned businesses and pedestrian traffic in the downtown, the Western Market began with 15 businesses that debuted in a row of small shops, known as chalets. The shops have landed the city praise in urban planning circles throughout the country, including from the president of a national nonprofit organization that studies sustainable development in communities across the United States.

The Western Market “really starts to capture the essence of what building a strong town is,” Charles Marohn, the president of Strong Towns, said when he visited Muskegon last summer. “Our staff, our membership, and all the people who voted in the contest were deeply impressed with what you’re doing.”

City Manager Frank Peterson noted the “popularity of the chalets has exceeded our expectations.”

“We have inquiries from all over the United States,” Peterson said in a press release. “Community leaders want to learn about the program and its success. We have given tours to more than a dozen different communities, and many have started similar programs within their own community. It is a great way to add temporary retail at an affordable price. Vendors have the opportunity to open their own business and determine if it is the right fit for them without investing significant amount of capital. It has been a win-win all the way around.”

This year’s new vendors are [click on the names for more information about the businesses]:

Book Nook & Java Shop Too

Clean Oceaning Clothing

Due Custom Apparel

Giro DiGelato

Good Moo’s

Happy Matt’s Kettle Corn

Harris & Willow

Roots by SLC

Thoughtfully Thrifted

Returning shops include:

B. Unique Designs

Gems Near the Lakeshore

Maggie’s Gourmet Foods & Gifts

Muskegon Inspired

SiliPint

Skee’s Tees

Tatterweave

Village Baker

Through Sept. 1, the Western Market will be open 11am to 6pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Saturdays, the market is open from 9am to 3pm. The chalets will be open from 12pm to 3pm on Sundays in July, as well as on Aug. 19 and Sept. 2. The market is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The market is open on Saturdays through Dec. 14. For more information, please click here.

Story by Anna Gustafson, the publisher and editor of Muskegon Times. Connect with Anna by emailing MuskegonTimes@gmail.com or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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