DETROIT (WWJ) – Eastern Market won’t be just for Saturdays anymore! Every Tuesday through September, Eastern Market will be open from 11 am until 7 pm, with a select number of merchants and farmers offering their goods underneath Shed number 2.
If you like the idea of using fresh fruits and vegetables for your family meals, Eastern Market now has more than 30 vendors on hand for Tuesday’s market.
“We have plants, prepared foods, and even though it’s been a wet spring, the Michigan crops are starting to come in,” said Eastern Market Corporation President Dan Carmody. ”We’ll have some nice Michigan sweet corn today and probably twelve or thirteen other crops.
Carmody said Market Tuesdays will run through September 27 and it will be held in Shed 2, located at the corner of Russell and Winder streets.
“We moved it a little bit back further in the day so that we could get Downtown workers, people on their lunch break, and those heading home in the evening,” said Carmody.
Gregory King, who sells fruits and vegetables in Eastern Market, said they will adjust their hours accordingly.
“We open up at 7 in the morning actually, or we start bringing stuff out so we’re looking at, probably opening just for that particular day the same hours as they are. Normally we’re open from 8 until 5,” King said.
The goal of Market Tuesday is to boost business for merchants not only inside the district, but also those surrounding Eastern Market.
John Gunn of Roscoe-Horkey Produce Farms said the extra day of retail will be good news for business owners and their customers.
“You have a lot of stuff come in fresh Monday, they come in and you get the fresh pick of all the merchandise that’s coming in. Monday’s got to be a busy day and Tuesday you is there,” Gunn said.
Other merchants say it make take time for customers to learn about Market Tuesday, but still think it will have a positive impact. In fact, King said it already has.
“Because they misunderstood the newscast, so they were coming down because all they thought about was ‘ok Tuesday, they are open Tuesday’ but they didn’t know the date. So we had business pick up just a little bit because of that,” King said.
Business has also picked up for tea blender Mary Jones, who was setting up stands bearing numerous bags of blended teas, 80 percent of which are her own ideas.
Jones likes the opportunity that the Tuesday market provides. She said business has been good so far.
“It’s been steady. People are starting to know that I’m here and I sell about 160 teas,” said Jones. ”I’m always coming up with ideas. A customer would come up to me and say ‘You know I think I like this blend’ and something will click, and in a month you’ll have it.”
Her most unique tea, Jones said, was customer-inspired.
“I tried it and it is very good. It’s hibiscus, mint, and a little cinnamon,” Jones calls it The Perfect Herbal Tea.
One Detroiter, Megan Mormon and her four-year-old son Matt, arrived at Market Tuesday about forty-five minutes before opening.
“We can’t make it on Saturdays so I was really excited when it was on Tuesdays,” said Mormon. “I think it’s a great thing to have two days: one on the weekend and one during the week.”
Some, like Mormon, may also enjoy the fact that there may be smaller crowds during the weekday.
“I was also hoping that there wouldn’t quite be so many people here!” She laughed.
High schoolers in the area are also being given the chance to home their sales and marketing skills. Dominique McIntyre, 20, is an organizer for the Young Sultans Group.
“We’re selling humus, phyllo wraps and we’re also selling soup,” McIntyre said.
Each group will sell products provided by their sponsor vendor. The kids seemed to be pretty excited about all of this.
“Yeah, well they get money in their pockets so that’s always a positive thing,” laughed McIntyre. She said that they are paid “$6 per hour for five hours.”