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Shop locally, give back at Grand Rapids Downtown Market during holidays

Buying local this holiday season ensures that more dollars will be recirculated back into the community. The Downtown Market is hosting activities in support of the local economy.

/Courtesy of Downtown Market

Underwriting support from:


Downtown Market

435 Ionia Avenue SW


/Courtesy of Downtown Market

/Courtesy of Downtown Market

This holiday season, shopping locally is a way to keep your dollars in the local community while supporting small business owners. On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores, according to the American Independent Business Alliance. 

At the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, more than 20 vendors provide that opportunity daily. Local food and nutrition are the overarching themes at the Market, so for those with foodies on their lists, the Downtown Market is the perfect location to buy locally while satisfying them all- from simple pleasures to the most sophisticated palates. 

The Downtown Market kicks off the holidays with a Winter Wonderland Open House from 4-8 p.m. on December 10 with festive activities for kids, families and adults, and an extra hour of shopping.

The Winter Wonderland Open House will have free events to get kids, adults and families in the holiday spirit and provide holiday cooking and gift inspiration. Fun activities for children will include visiting with Santa, writing letters to send to the North Pole, coloring, cookie decorating and a take-home craft. Roaming Dickens carolers will provide musical entertainment, and hourly food and beverage demos by Market chefs along with a holiday-themed bar will keep adults entertained. 

The Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) will sell poinsettias, grown at their main campus greenhouse, during the event. And many of the startup businesses using the Incubator Kitchen will have their goods for sale during the event as well, including kombucha, spices and sweet potato pies.

“The Downtown Market is a perfect shopping destination when it’s cold outside, with 20 vendors all under one roof,” says Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Market. “Buying gifts from local businesses helps keep money in the community both directly and indirectly, as these small businesses are not only paying taxes and paying employees, but are also supporting other local companies.”

Holiday Coat Drive

December 10 also kicks off a coat drive at the Market in support of Guiding Light Mission. The Downtown Market is hosting a collection site for clean, gently used coats, gloves, hats and new boots from Dec. 10-Jan. 1. All donations will help residents at the mission in need of warm clothing.

The gift of an experience

Recipients can look forward to the gift of cooking classes, even more fun with a friend, relative or significant other. With the purchase of $50 in Downtown Market education gift cards this December, customers will get an extra $10 in Market Money to spend in January. The full Downtown Market class schedule is available online at and regularly includes solo classes as well as classes for couples, kids, families and girls night out events.

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