GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The fact some think fresh food is more expensive is an concern Downtown Market officials have heard.
"We hear a lot about high-end, artisan foods cost a lot of money," said Mimi Fritz, executive director of Grand Rapids' new market. "We're being very strategic on making sure that's not all we have. We have food for everybody."
GR's Downtown Market opens its farmers market this weekend, but the main draw inside opens in August.
Fritz explained merchants will offer cheaper options by sizing down portions to fit budgets. She said merchants need to detail their products and prices to the market, and get approved by market officials.
Fritz also pointed out the market will accept food-assistance program payments, including Bridge Cards,Double Up Food Bucks and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Downtown Market is conscious about pricing in part because of its location. They want to win over those in the Heartside neighborhood. like David Berry.
Berry said he had no idea about the market, even though he plays basketball at in its shadow several times a week at Heartside Park. He liked the idea, but wants to see it for himself once it opens.
"If I check it out, and things are not expensive, I'll definitely buy stuff from there. If it's not too expensive," he said.
24 Hour News 8 traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to an indoor market similar to Grand Rapids' Downtown Market, to see what how much things cost there.
Columbus' North Market are popular because fresh food is all around you. You can watch a butcher break down meats, see fresh bread baking, and basically have the pick of what you want.
Photos: Who's who at the North Market
That's what Mary Lou Hare loves about the North Market, and she is willing to pay more to get it.
"I'm an empty-nester now, so we can eat better, and I'm not worried about feeding a family of six," she said.
24 Hour News 8 followed Hare through the North Market and summed up the cost of everything she bought to a cost of $69.10.
- 1/2 gallon of orange: $12.25
- Loaf of sourdough bread: $4.95
- 1/4 lb. of bleu cheese: $4.95
- Two 8 ounce filet mignons: $32.00
- Four breakfast sausage links: $2.00
- 32 oz. of gumbo soup: $12.95
"Here I get my meats, orange juice, and cheeses," Hare explained and went on to say she finishes the rest of her shopping at the grocery store.
When asked about the price, North Market merchants called their prices competitive.
"There might be a few items that might be a little higher, but there are also that many items or more that are cheaper," Cheryl Smith of Bluescreek Farm Meats said. "And we have items that regular stores don't carry anymore," she continued.
They said shoppers pay for the higher quality you get.
"Once they taste it they see the quality is not the same. They see that this is a higher quality. It's made by people," bread baker Amy Lozier explained. She added no one's questioned her price in years.
When it comes to pricing, officials at both markets explain there are a lot of factors, including the season, who is selling, and how far the food travels, among others.
MI Bridge Cards
Double Up Food Bucks
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