For years, you could meet friends for dinner, watch freighters and sailboats cruise along the Saginaw River, or catch some live music from Downtown Bay City. But people who lived downtown had a hard time finding a place to buy a box of pasta.
That’s why City Market, 401 Center Ave., changed its business model to add hours and an expanded line of groceries.
Amanda Serra, who used to live in Downtown Bay City, says the change will be welcome.
“When I lived downtown I primarily used Shipt as it provided an easy way to get my groceries to my apartment versus parking a block away and carrying them or having a cart,” Serra says.
“However, there were many times where I would’ve enjoyed if City Market was a resource for last-minute ingredients that I may have forgotten or run out of. When I did shop at City Market, I found it was harder to budget for a meal when I was buying 3 ingredients from one vendor, and two from another, and before I knew it spaghetti for dinner ran me $20 plus.”
City Market, which opened in 2017, served as a home base for a range of vendors including salad bars, florists, natural health and beauty products, wine, and more. In the beginning, its hours were limited. It was closed entirely on Sundays and Mondays. However, the City Market heard from local and out-of-town visitors that the hours needed to change.
“In response to the community’s feedback over the last few years, City Market is now open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and it is now a grocery store in addition to having many of our founding small business owners,” says Marjo Morden, the community manager at City Office, located just below the market. “Soon there will be an expanded meat counter with seafood, and Modern Craft will be found inside a new liquor section.”
City Market also changed its processes to increase convenience and reduce exposure to COVID-19. Shoppers can now use carts and take advantage of single-point check-out counters. In the past, shoppers went from vendor to vendor, paying as they shopped. Carts weren’t an option.
Shoppers also will find City Market-branded food items on the shelves. The brand seeks to serve as a low-cost option for unique, locally-made items.
Many of the founding City Market vendors are still around and operating, including Oily Apothecary, Those Nature People, Replenish,Tex-Mex Grille, and Mitten Gourmet. You can grab a coffee and a cookie from City Grind (home of Heidi’s Darn Good Cookies), lunch at Wrappin’ and Rollin’ or a slice of pizza from DHOP, and then get your shopping done for the week all in one convenient and fun place, Morden says.
New vendors also are expected including a gourmet cheese sandwich shop, salad bar, and barbecue restaurant.
Keep up with the latest City Market news and special offers on Facebook. Each small business within the market still operates its own hours, so it’s best to reach out directly to them in order to know when you should stop in.