Pop-up winter market planned for Downtown Edgebrook on Nov. 18
by BRIAN NADIG
The success of the summer’s farmers’ markets will be carried into the fall with a pop-up holiday/winter market in Downtown Edgebrook, and organizers hope the excitement from the markets will help draw new businesses to vacant storefronts.
The holiday market is scheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, on Kinzua Ave., just north of Devon Avenue, near the Edgebrook Metra Station.
“It’s basically going to be a cozy version of the farmers’ market with an opportunity for people to do their holiday shopping and enjoy local brews. We will also have a ton for kids just like we did this summer,” said market committee chair Meghan Dwyer.
“Illuminated Brew Works has signed on to partner with us (for the holiday event), and Edgebrook Acres … (will) sell baked goods such as apple hand pies, peach hand pies and soft pretzels. Hand pies are basically fancy pop tarts. These will be made with apples and peaches from the farm. Mother Prepper and Tamales Express will also be there,” Dwyer added.
The farmers’ markets themselves almost did not happen this past summer.
The nonprofit Everyday Edgebrook, the community group which started the markets several years ago, was looking to drop the markets due a lack of volunteers.
Dwyer said that read about the issue in Nadig Newspapers and posted a call for volunteers on Facebook.
Not long afterwards, there was a working group of dedicated, working moms who were committed to preserving and expanding the markets, with the ultimate goal of bringing some new shops and revitalization to the Devon-Central commercial area, Dwyer said.
“None of us knew each other before,” Dwyer said. “It ended up being more work than we thought, (but) I think we nailed it.”
At least 900 people showed up to the last market in September. The markets were held every other Saturday near Hiawatha and Central avenues.
Everyday Edgebrook, an all-volunteer group that hosts a variety of community events in the business district, continues to sponsor the markets and holds the permit for them. In addition, the Edgebrook-Sauganash Chamber of Commerce donated $3,000 to pay for children’s entertainment at the markets, and that was key in attracting more families to the markets, Dwyer said.
Local businesses which partnered with the market did well, and the market committee talked to other vendors about opening a brick-and-mortar business in Edgebrook, Dwyer said, adding that a coffeehouse is one the desired businesses for the community.
The committee took advantage of the talents of its members, who brought marketing, data research and other valuable qualities to the table, Dwyer said.
“We’re going to see if we can help (the business district),” Dwyer said. “We don’t want this to be just a one and done thing.”
The committee prepared an online “Everyday Edgebrook Customer Survey” which residents were asked to fill out, and the results will be shared with prospective businesses looking at Edgebrook. It also plans to work with chamber executive director Kathy Fern in helping existing businesses and attracting new ones.
In addition to Dwyer, other committee volunteers who worked on the markets or the holiday pop-up or both include Dalia Marouf, Jen Bassik, Ronda Majeran, Michaela Cavanagh, Lisa Hinrichs, Jen Wu, Ellie Lange and Abby Factor.
Information about the markets is available at www.everydayedgebrook.com