Ypsilanti resident Colleen Brewer has heard multiple Ypsilanti Township residents say they wish there was a farmers market closer to them, so she decided to create a Maker's Market featuring local food, arts, and crafts.
The inaugural Maker's Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26 inside the former Willow Run Middle School, 235 Spencer Ln. in Ypsi Township. Confirmed vendors include Nana's Country Creations, providing wood and metal signs; Steve's Hand-Drawn Designs; Dood's Killer Corn, which offers kettle corn in a variety of flavors; and Play It by Feel, selling painted glassware, jewelry, and canvas paintings. Brewer says she is in talks with a few other vendors and expects jams, fudge, pastries, handmade soap, and hand-knit fashions to be on offer as well.
"If you grow anything or make anything, bring it here," Brewer says.
She notes that she hopes to run the Maker's Market quarterly at first, and perhaps expand it to a monthly event by summer of 2020.
Brewer is the kitchen manager for Eastern Market's community kitchen in Detroit and owns the food safety business P.I.C. Food Safety and Staffing, but she says she always wanted to start a business in her hometown of Ypsi. Brewer opened Rosie's Community Kitchen, a rental kitchen and event space named after Rosie the Riveter, as an offshoot of her food safety business in the former middle school after touring its kitchen in late 2018.
After several months of cleaning, remodeling, and paperwork, the business opened this spring. Its first renter, Carmela's Culinary Creations, came on board in September. A second renter, Plush Cupcake Boutique, came on board in early October. Both tenants are scheduled to vend at the Oct. 26 Maker's Market.
Brewer says a few vendors at the market will be from surrounding communities like Ann Arbor and Belleville, but most of the vendors have small businesses based in the city of Ypsi or Ypsi Township.
"The whole point of Rosie's is to do anything we can to boost business for Ypsilanti and help as many people as we possibly can," she says. "I'm hoping for it to be a community space."
Spaces for vendors are still available for $10 a table. Those interested in vending at the event may email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Parking and entry to the event are both free to the public. More information is available at the Facebook event page.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at email@example.com.
Photo by Sarah Rigg.