The Market House carries on the vision of an in-town public market in Portland by providing a community gathering place that celebrates Maine people, food and agricultural traditions while joining the ongoing efforts to revitalize Portland’s downtown, incubating small businesses and involving the international community...
The mission of the Market House is several-fold. The Market House provides an inner-city outlet for Maine food producers in the heart of Maine’s largest population center. The Market House has several others goals, however, including incubating small businesses just as the original vendors were incubated, helping the rejuvenation of downtown Portland and including the city’s diverse and vibrant international community that has grown through immigration in the past several decades.
First and foremost, with the dominance of big box stores and internationally-owned supermarkets in today’s consumer world, the new public market provides the people of Portland with an alternative shopping experience in which customers can purchase foods and other goods from small, local, owner-operated businesses, and even the farmers themselves.
Secondly, the Market House, operated by Market Vendors, LLC, incubates small businesses. Two of the three original vendors comprising Market Vendors, LLC, K. Horton’s Specialty Foods and Maine Beer & Beverage Co. were created and incubated in the Portland Public Market (Big Sky Bread Co. is the only exception). Since our inception, dozens of small business people have rented day tables or our community kitchen in furthering their small business ventures.
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and tend to be more energetic, enthusiastic and creative than larger, established, corporate-owned businesses and franchises. The owner is often present. Customer service tends to be better. These are primary reasons why the members of Market Vendors, LLC succeeded in the first place. Further, the grass roots nature of these small businesses appeals to consumers and adds to the atmosphere of a public market. So, not only is incubating businesses important as a goal in itself, this activity adds to the appeal and attractiveness of the public market experience.
The Market House operates a community kitchen in the lower level that is used by small businesses, potential vendors and day table sub-lessees. Many small business efforts, including many ethnic endeavors, involve prepared food. Often these small business ventures do not have access to a commercial kitchen. The kitchen users may purchase products from various market vendors and the farmers who participate in the farmers’ market.
Along with the kitchen, the Market House leases space on Monument Square for up to twelve day tables. The day tablers are restricted to selling only Maine made, produced or value-added products. These day tables have been a huge success, with dozens of renters in the first two years of the Market House, providing an outlet for their wares and Maine-made products for Portland shoppers to browse and purchase.
|PUBLIC MARKET HOUSE