District Market holds grand opening: ‘The goal is community’

District Market on Wayne Avenue held a grand opening Friday, Jan. 20 to celebrate its 10 marketplace vendors. From soul food and eggrolls to cookies and ice cream, guests can find a little bit of everything.

“The goal is community,” said Tae Winston, owner of District Market, during the ribbon cutting. “Giving more people opportunity especially those that get left out. They’re still building their brand and may not have the funding or the capital to start a business. I like to come in and give them that platform, give people a chance and it takes (the community) to give them hope.”

The marketplace features five established merchants selling anything from soul food and eggrolls to cookies, ice cream, cheesecake, fruit cups and more, according to a District Market press release. Merchants include Fruitilicious Fruit Displays, Sisters with Chef Mo, Soul Sistahs, Moo., and CheezCake Lab.

“Here at this location it’s more than just being here selling ice cream for me,” said Haneisha Wortham, owner of Moo., a homemade ice cream and sorbet delivery service with a location in District Market. “This is a building with love, a building with motivation, and I appreciate the community for that.”

In addition, there are several retail merchants featured along the market wall selling “sundries” that range from notebooks and kitchen accessories to art and health and wellness products.

District Market is a place where small businesses can sell their food, learn and grow before venturing out on their own. The market will be similar to The Entrepreneurs Marketplace previously located in the Wright-Dunbar District.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“Small businesses like this you’re the backbone, you’re the fun, you’re the connector of our downtown and our community,” said Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “We thank you for making your investment right here.”

The marketplace held a soft opening in November, allowing merchants an opportunity to refine their menus and build relationships with customers, the release said.

“Without you there’s no us,” said Monique Briscoe-Love, owner of Sisters and the manager of District Market. “When you come in here you’re supporting us and you’re supporting our dream.”

District Market has added standing tables to the space to expand on the grab-and-go concept. The installation of tables is due to a partnership with 2nd Life Restoration, located at 411 E. Fifth Street.

Winston has already been assisting other entrepreneurs in a similar concept on West Third Street. The Entrepreneurs Shoppe houses an array of 30 small businesses with retail products like clothing, soaps, skin care and more.

The marketplace, located at 200 Wayne Avenue, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visit District Market’s Facebook page.

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