Downtown Kzoo market owner sees opportunity in closure

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — As downtown Kalamazoo has grown to include more housing, retail and business, one thing has been missing — a downtown grocery store. But that’s about to change.

Market on Michigan Avenue is slated to open in the historic Metropolitan Center, at 119 E. Michigan Avenue next spring.  

Owners are calling the new market an “urban micro-grocery,” emphasizing local and sustainably-farmed produce and meats. 

“So, produce is definitely going to be like a forefront of ours,” said market co-owner Josh Marunde. “We’re trying to bring not only food, but healthy food, accessible to the people living and working downtown.”

Work on the market was underway when the Biggby Coffee shop next door closed.

While that may have worried some business owners, Marunde saw opportunity. He decided to knock down the adjoining wall and expand the market.

“We hadn’t budgeted for twice the square footage, but at the same time, it was like too good of an opportunity to kind of pass up,” he said.

Marunde lives in downtown Kalamazoo and says he noticed a lack of grocery options.  But rather than complain, he took action.

“I’m immediately recognizing this problem,” he explained. “Why am I just not being the one to solve it rather than sit around and wait for someone else to make a decision?”

Marunde is from West Michigan and has worked as a traveling musician, gym owner and now a market owner.  But he says his number one priority in life is being a husband.

“I don’t fit very well into a box,” he said. “My mind is like constantly racing, and as soon I feel like I have one thing remotely figured out or comfortable, like I have to rock the boat and try something new.”   

Market on Michigan Avenue is expected to open in March.  
 

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