Nine shops sporting fine foods, art, snacks and crafts are set to debut at the Market House’s grand reopening on July 11.
Though speculation has surrounded the opening and some vendors were previously reported, on Tuesday the city formally announced the list of short-term vendors for the Market House when it re-opens its doors.
Store owners are now scrambling to fill their slots with wares and many said they see this as an opportunity to expand their businesses.
Among the nine vendors are old Annapolis favorites and new business faces, including some Greater Annapolis restaurants.
According to a news release sent out Tuesday, the full lineup is:
- Chick & Ruth’s Delly.
- b.b. Bistro.
- Firenzes Coffee & Gelato.
- Jerrie’s on the Shore.
- Maryland Table, which is owned by Craig Sewell, who also owns A Cook's Cafe off of Bestgate Road.
- Myra’s Popcorn Kitchen, which has a location in Westfield Annapolis mall.
- Pit Boys Oyster & Raw Bar, which has a location on Chinquapin Round Road.
- Wimsey Cove Framing and Art.
- Wok Your Way.
The Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitor’s Bureau also will have an office at the market to distribute information on events and activities in the city.
In addition, nonprofit groups are expected to be assigned space within the Market House on a rotating basis, according to the release.
All vendors have contracts for a six-month lease with the city, set to expire at the end of the year. Beyond that, additional negotiations could allow some of these vendors to continue on in 2012.
Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen said he was excited about the variety in the lineup.
“We are getting the Market House back to its roots of having local folks selling good food at affordable prices, some of which, like crab cakes, oysters and local produce, will have a real Chesapeake connection,” Cohen said in the release.
One of the freshest vendors at the Market House will be Maryland Table, which offers locally grown produce and food prepared with ingredients from Maryland farms. Chef Craig Sewell said he sees opportunity knocking at the Market House.
“I think the ultimate use of the Market House is something similar to what we’re trying to do here,” he said. “What we’re attempting to do is connect and reconnect people with quality foods and that they know where they come from.”
Sewell has operated Maryland Table through a website for five years. Moving from an online venue to a retail market that will be open seven days a week has been a huge transition, but Sewell said he’s up to the challenge.
He’s expanding his business and his staff to accommodate what he believes will be a big hit with Annapolis.
“We’re willing to bet on this,” he said. “I think it’s what the people of Annapolis want.”
Sewell isn’t the only one interested in bringing a local touch to the Market House. Elizabeth Ramirez’ Wimsey Cove will take up two stalls in the venue, and nearly every item in her store has an Annapolis theme. The business is known for its reproductions of historical maps, but she’ll also be recruiting local artists to paint watercolor art on-site.
Ramirez said she hopes the artists will draw a crowd on sunny days.
“There are some amazing artists right here in Anne Arundel County,” she said. “So I thought, why not maps and art? For them, being smack dab in the middle of downtown Annapolis, there isn’t a better location. They’ll do their art right there, inside or outside, so that’ll be another draw for us.”
Though the Market House still has to prove itself to be a successful venture, Ramirez said she didn’t have any reservations about bringing her business there.
“It has been the butt of some jokes, but it is in a prime location,” she said.
Ramirez will be selling historical map reproductions, framed art and prints, as well as some Annapolis-themed souvenirs.
Starting on July 11, the Market House will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, up until the Annapolis Boat show in October, after which the hours are subject to change.