Northeast Indiana’s first food hall and public market will be known as Union Street Market, its name harkening back to the earliest days of the former General Electric campus, where it will open fall 2022.
Modeled on many of the country’s most successful market halls, Union Street Market will offer a range of regionally sourced foods and beverages in a historic setting at Electric Works. Driven by its mission to support local farmers and food producers while enhancing community wellness and providing access to healthy foods, Union Street Market will feature 20-plus merchants open daily and also serve as the permanent home of the Ft. Wayne’s Farmers Market. Merchants already committed to Union Street Market include Joseph Decuis and Conjure Coffee.
“Union Street Market integrates perfectly into the overall vision for Electric Works – rooted in history while striving for a future built in innovation, energy, and culture,” said Jeff Kingsbury of RTM Ventures, the development team behind Electric Works. “We’re committed to partner with food entrepreneurs who share our passion for increasing access to fresh, healthy food and providing a truly unique experience for the community, and those who appreciate the magic of an authentic market environment.”
The Market will be located in a space comprising the former buildings 20, 20A and 22, which features soaring windows and garage doors opening onto an adjacent plaza. Union Street Market will cover more than 37,000 square feet and will provide merchants a host of infrastructure and management services, enabling them to focus on producing and selling great food.
In addition, Electric Works announced nationally renowned public-market expert Ted Spitzer as Director of Market Planning and Development. Spitzer has helped many of the country’s iconic public markets, including Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market; Lexington Market in Baltimore; Eastern Market in Detroit; North Market in Columbus, OH; Essex Street Market in New York City; and Eastern Market in Washington D.C. He also led the development and programming for newly developed, award-winning markets including the Milwaukee Public Market and the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.
“I’m excited to help the Electric Works team bring a world-class public market experience to Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana,” said Spitzer. “This is a growing region, and it’s an ideal time for a true food hall and public market – and Electric Works will provide the perfect location for it.”
Spitzer will engage local and regional food and beverage producers, restaurateurs, and other food entrepreneurs to help curate an eclectic and locally focused mix of merchants at the Market. Local businesses interested in learning more can connect at www.unionstreetmarket.org.
Union Street ran north-south in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the exact location on campus where the Market will now be housed; the City of Fort Wayne eventually ceded the section of Union Street to General Electric after 1911 as the campus continued to grow.
The announcement of the Union Street Market identity coincides with the relocation of the Ft. Wayne’s Farmers Market for 2021 to McCulloch Park across from Electric Works. The market will begin its summer outdoor season this Saturday, May 15, with more than 60 local and regional vendors expected to participate. It will move to two days a week beginning June 16, operating from 3-7pm each Wednesday and 9am-1pm each Saturday through the summer. The market will feature live entertainment at the park’s gazebo, as well as other family-friendly activities throughout the summer. Multilingual signage and banners will be present as well.