Release Date: November 15,2017
A grand opening celebration for the Northside Marketplace is Friday, Nov. 17 from 4-10 p.m. in downtown Akron's Northside District. The public is invited to shop through products from more than 40 vendors and spend time in the social lounge, while enjoying many of the culinary offerings available.
With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Downtown Akron Partnership, the Northside Marketplace serves as an incubator to help startup companies grow, while offering Akronites a unique attraction and local products and services. The Marketplace gives new or small businesses an opportunity to operate in a standing location without taking the risk of an individual brick and mortar storefront.
"We have developed a new take on the urban shopping mall. It provides a very local based, grass roots shopping experience that allows consumers to purchase unique products and know that their dollars are going to help local start-ups grow," said Joel Testa, Testa Companies' president and the developer of the Marketplace.
The Marketplace is equipped with staff members that work on a day-to-day basis with individual shopkeepers to provide guidance, assistance and connection to resources like investors, lenders and marketing, social media and PR support. The goal is to lessen the risk for businesses making the move from a home based business into this collaborative space. The end result is to create confident and knowledgeable businesses owners working and thriving in the city, while providing more local shopping destinations for residents and visitors.
During the grand opening, guests can enter a drawing to win a gift basket that contains an item from each of the Marketplace vendors. In addition, any guest spending more than $100 during opening weekend, will be eligible to win a weekend getaway package in the Northside District that includes a room at the Courtyard by Marriott Akron Downtown, a private movie theater screening for two, a five-course chef's tasting meal at dba for two and hand crafted cocktails at the Northside Speakeasy. The grand prize winner will be announced on Nov. 20.