GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - In just the first week, shops at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market Hall are selling out of products and already need to hire more help.
The Market Hall officially opened Monday. The artisan vendors there expected the grand opening to be busy, but say the crowds have continued all week.
The Downtown Market, located on Ionia Avenue SW south of Wealthy Street, is expected to make $500,000 in the first year. A spokesperson said Thursday it is well on its way.
"We had three people scooping one at the register and we scooped for eight hours without a single break. Scoop, scoop, scoop," said Chris McKellar, the owner of Love's Ice Cream.
Love's Ice Cream is an organic ice cream shop and McKellar said is has been hard to keep vegan flavors in stock.
"We have a vegan coconut chip. It's made out of coconut milk and chocolate," McKellar described.
He and other owners have been so busy they are selling out. Shelby Kibler, the owner of Field & Fire Bakery, can't keep croissants in stock.
"Over the past four or five days, I've steadily built how many croissants I'm making," he said.
Kibler said he thinks the fast pace will continue.
"The market hall it seems to me a very impressive place. It's beautiful physically, but more importantly it's got awesome vendors," Kibler said.
He's so confident people will make the market part of their shopping trips that he's hiring more employees to keep up.
Kyle Behm, the owner of Dorothy and Tony's Gourmet Kettle Corn, is also hiring. He currently has five workers, and is looking to add between six and eight more.
"Ever since we opened, it's been crazy," he said.
Dorothy and Tony's moved from a Plainfield Avenue NE shop and the foot traffic has been a big increase. The shop is now selling between 500 and 600 bags of popcorn a day.
"I honestly had expectations and I thought they were pretty high, but this is far and above anything I expected, especially this soon," Behm said.
Grand Rapids Downtown Market
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