Madison Public Market Foundation leads with development and operations planning


For many years, a vibrant and highly regarded public market has been the dream of entrepreneurs, community leaders and City of Madison employees.  To make this dream a reality, the community-led Madison Public Market Development Committee (MPMDC) ushered approvals through the Common Council, coordinated with City planning and economic development staff, and created a comprehensive business plan for the Market.

As plans proceeded, it became evident that the City’s role should be limited to critical matters related to the physical building of the Market including site selection, architectural design and construction. Their efforts, combined with the contributions of countless others, helped to create a timeline that calls for the opening of the Madison Public Market in Fall 2021.

Early in the planning process, it was determined that neither the MPMDC nor the City of Madison would be responsible for daily Market operations. The City’s primary role is to lead the renovation of the Fleet Services building (the Market’s future home) and maintain ownership of the building and land.

With that in mind, the Madison Public Market Foundation was created in May 2017. Operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Foundation has already taken the lead in fundraising efforts and community engagement. When the Market is open, the Foundation will manage day-to-day operations. Until then, the Foundation will lead in vendor selection, the employee hiring process (including the Executive Director search), raise $4 million to create the Market, and work closely with the City on the architectural design so that the needs of vendors and tenants are met.

Recently, the Foundation hired Megan Ballard as Project Manager, charged with the task of implementing the Market’s operating plan. With a background in the commercial real estate industry, including managing and leasing shopping malls, Megan brings a wealth of experience critical to the operations of the proposed Madison Public Market. “I am so pleased to serve in this role”, says Ballard. “We have already made so much progress in terms of community outreach, in support of our MarketReady vendors, in fundraising activity and in creating innovative architectural designs for what will be an amazing asset for Madison and beyond.”

Ballard says that with the progress made towards building the market, this is a very exciting time. “Our next steps are those that prepare us for operationalizing the business plan in a manner that assures the Market’s financial success. Finalization of the architectural plans, including specifications for vendor siting, allows us to begin the process of selecting Market vendors. We’ve had tremendous interest expressed by local and regional businesses – both large and small. Very soon, we will develop both the rules and regulations for Market participation and define the leasing process.”

Business operators interested in opportunities at the Madison Public Market are encouraged to complete and submit the Madison Public Market Vendor Interest Form available from the City of Madison.

Board chair Jamaal Stricklin reviews design ideas from branding firm ZebradogThe look and feel of the Market is also a front-burner issue. The Foundation has engaged local communication design firm Zebradog (pictured right) to create a memorable and welcoming environment within the 50,000 square feet of the former Fleet Services Building. The Foundation will be responsible for selecting the building’s artwork, storytelling features and ongoing marketing and promotions for the Market, including regular community cultural events featuring area musicians, performers and artists.

Community engagement has long been a critical component of the Market’s development efforts, and the current status of the Market’s design incorporates thousands of public comments provided through surveys and public input sessions. The City of Madison has scheduled another Info & Public Feedback Session:

Thursday, September 5
6:00 pm
Madison Municipal Building, 215 Martin Luther King Blvd., RM 215
More Info Here

Attendees can view detailed designs of the proposed market, including the mix and layout of merchants at the market, event spaces, outdoor plazas, and potential community arts/exhibit spaces. There will be an update on pedestrian, bike and vehicle access and site design for what is currently the City’s Fleet Services Building at East Johnson Street and First Street.

The Foundation continues to update and engage with the community through Taste of the Madison Public Market events, active Facebook and Instagram pages, regular eUpdates, and presentations at Rotary, Kiwanis, Downtown Madison, Inc., and other forums.

 

The Madison Public Market Foundation Board members include:

  • Jamaal Stricklin (President), SuperCharge! Foods
  • Megan Ballard, Madison Commercial Real Estate
  • Sujhey Beisser, Park Bank & Five Senses Palate
  • Karen Crossley, community leader
  • Victoria Davis, Associated Bank
  • Rebecca Prochaska, Potter Lawson
  • Anne Reynolds, Madison Public Market Development Committee
  • Donale Richards
  • John Starkweather, Boardman Clark
  • Amanda White, Consultant (non-Board member)

Additionally, the Foundation created the Madison Public Market Advisory Council, consisting of community leaders who meet quarterly to provide guidance to the project. These members include:

  • Betty Banks, African American community historian and organizer
  • Craig Bartlett, Associate Publisher-Owner, Isthmus Publishing
  • Peter Cavi, First Vice President, Merrill Lynch
  • Al Cooper, Coordinator, Dane Dances
  • Suzanne Fanning, VP of Marketing Communications, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin
  • Greg Frank, VP of Community Relations, Food Fight Restaurant Group
  • Peter Gray, Executive Search Consultant, QTI
  • Alison Helland, Attorney, Boardman & Clark
  • Jonny Hunter, Co-Founder, Underground Food Collective
  • Ken Monteleone, Owner, Fromagination
  • Melanie Ramey, Communication Coach and Speaker
  • Helen Sarakinos, Executive Director, REAP Food Group
  • Trey Sprinkman, Owner, Sprinkman Real Estate
  • James Shulkin, Windflower Consulting, Windworker Studio and Fishmonger Studio
  • Steve Suleski, VP Board Relations, CUNA Mutual Group
  • Missy Tracy, Municipal Relations Coordinator, Ho Chunk Nation/Ho Chunk Casino

Ballard is optimistic that with the most current building design plans, the brand identity developed by Zebradog, and the upcoming Info & Feedback session, the Foundation can intensify efforts to raise the requisite capital from donors. “With the expertise of Amanda White Consulting, we have already raised more than a million dollars of our four million dollar goal. Our capital campaign is just getting started, and I’m confident that once everyone knows the scope of our plans and sees the architectural renderings, they’ll come together to support this important project.”If you are interested in getting involved with the Public Market through participating in the Advisory Council, Board of Directors, or volunteer opportunities, please contact Megan Ballard at megan@madisonpublicmarket.org.

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James Shulkin is a communications professional and artist. He is the Principal at Windflower Marketing & Public Relations, Chief Kinetic Officer at Windworker Studio and creator at Fishmonger Studio. He’s also a member of the Madison Public Market’s Advisory Council.

 

Madison Magazine: Madison Public Market updates location plan


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December 19, 2018. There’s been talk of a public market in Madison for years. Mayor Paul Soglin moved the idea forward when he created the Public Market Development Committee to research a market in 2012. The city council approved the idea in 2015 with the original plan to move into the City Fleet Services building at 200 First St. The proposed location changed since then, but as of this month the current plan is back to the Fleet Services building.

While it may seem like a long time in the making, the market is making progress, says Jamaal Stricklin, president of the Madison Public Market Foundation Board. “It’s going. It’s happening,” says Stricklin, who also works as sales director at SuperCharge! Foods. “I would rather take our time and do it the right way than to rush the project.”

Dan Kennelly, city manager of the Office of Business Resources, agrees. “The Madison Public Market project is building momentum,” Kennelly says. “2018 has seen a lot of progress. This includes the Madison Public Market Foundation Board being formally selected by the city as the future operator of the market and launching a fundraising campaign that has raised nearly $1 million.” Kennelly also says the site change back to the location at the Fleet Services building — as opposed to a brand new building at the corner of East Washington Avenue and First Street — is positive. “The Fleet Building is a solidly built, 50-year-old facility that has been used to maintain large vehicles. The building is 45,000 square feet with three large garage bays, 20 foot high ceilings and big overhead garage doors. Reusing a big old garage will also result in a market that has unique character and architectural interest,” Kennelly says.

But while city council members have been hashing out details and architects have been drawing up plans, a group of 30 entrepreneurs — the heart and soul of the Madison Public Market, say its organizers — have been busy since 2017 creating business plans, purchasing equipment, touring other public markets and taking business classes with support from the city’s MarketReady Program.

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Wisconsin State Journal: Madison officials embrace Fleet Services building for Public Market


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December 4, 2018

With land costs too high to put a $13.2 million Madison Public Market on East Washington Avenue, city officials are embracing an option to reuse the nearby city Fleet Services building for the market.

Mayor Paul Soglin announced Monday that the city is dropping its bid to acquire land to build the market as part of a coming private redevelopment of the Washington Square shopping center at the corner of First Street and East Washington.

“A decision like this is a 100-year decision,” Soglin said at a press conference at the Fleet Services building Monday morning. “It’s very important we get it right.”

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MarketReady 2018: By the Numbers and the People Behind the Numbers


Special thanks to our guest blogger, James Shulkin, member of the Madison Public Market Advisory Council!

It’s been just over a year since the inception of the MarketReady Program, an effort to prepare a number of talented chefs, makers and other entrepreneurs with the skills needed to create successful businesses. Funded by the City of Madison and launched in partnership with North Side Planning Council, FEED Kitchens, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation and Dane County University of Wisconsin Extension, MarketReady provides business training, mentorship, and start-up capital ($37,500 in 2018) to a diverse group of thirty area merchants. The goal has always been that, with the right kind of encouragement, these individuals might some day become successful vendors at the highly anticipated Madison Public Market.

As 2018 comes to a close, we look back on the resounding success of both the MarketReady Program and the individuals that have contributed so much to these efforts.

The MarketReady vendors are a special group. They are mostly women (63%) and people of color (83%). Thirty three percent (33%) are first generation immigrants. In fact, MarketReady focuses on supporting communities that face structural barriers to business ownership. Specifically, the program was created to Encourage and stimulate the creation and acceleration of businesses owned and operated by women, persons of color, the economically disadvantaged and others in need of a new career path.

The majority of these businesses offer food products, with some selling textiles, artwork, body care products or other services. You may be familiar with some of the more visible vendors such as Laurel Burleson (Ugly Apple Café), Josey Chu (Madame Chu), Luis Dompablo (Caracas Empanadas), Jasmine Banks (Perfect Imperfections), Donale Richards (Off the Block Enterprises) and Monica O’Conell (Curtis & Cake), to name a few. All of the MarketReady merchants can be found here.

Led by Ian Aley, MarketReady Coordinator, and Michael Miller, City of Madison Business Assistance Specialist, the organization’s staff provides and arranges for training of all kinds, providing financial services, technical assistance, referrals and access to micro-grants.

“The MarketReady staff and I are humbled and inspired by the group’s hard work, sense of humor, and willingness to share ideas,” says Aley. “We facilitate connections, but so much of the creativity, experience, and strength comes from within this group of entrepreneurs.”

During the first year of the MarketReady program, direct services to the vendors included:

  • educational events and workshops (1,046 hours)
  • direct business consultation (585 hours)
  • business coaching (181 hours)
  • peer-to-peer support sessions (29)

Partnerships with the University of Wisconsin Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, the law firm Boardman & Clark and Heartland Credit Union have provided consultation and coaching to participants.

The MarketReady vendors have also given back to the community, including directly to those future Public Market visitors particularly anxious to sample product offerings. To date, more than 2,000 people have attended three “Taste of the Market” events featuring many of the vendors. In addition, 14 MarketReady participants offered 37 classes at Meadowridge Public Library, providing an opportunity to test recipes, make sales, and connect with neighbors across the city.

“We look forward to the opening of the Public Market,” adds Aley. “In the meantime, this community of vendors will continue to develop new product lines, hone their business plans, and build relationships with customers and each other. There is a strong sense in the group that the success of one business in the Public Market will be tied to the success of their neighbors. We will continue to build capacity and connections. When the Public Market opens, we will be ready.”

MarketReady Merchants Shine This Holiday Season


Many of the Madison Public Market’s MarketReady merchants are already up and running, ready to make your holidays shine!

You don’t have to wait for the Market to open to experience the unique, high quality products and gifts these businesses have to offer this holiday season. Support small, local businesses right here in Madison and you’ll find unique gifts, catering, and more.

(The MarketReady Program is designed to prepare multicultural entrepreneurs who have dreamed of starting a food-based or craft-based business for success in the new Market through business training, mentorship, and/or start-up capital.)

Featured above: Holiday Cookie Box from Curtis & Cake

Holiday Party Catering

You bring the guests, they’ll bring the incredible food! These MarketReady merchants provide quality catering for corporate or private events large and small.

  • La Joe Bla, LLC
  • dZi Little Tibet
  • Madame Chu Delicacies
  • Melly Mell’s Catering
  • The Ugly Apple

Gifts for Everyone

Find unique gifts for everyone on your list while supporting our local economy and strengthening our communities.

  • Artesan Fruit
  • Curtis & Cake
  • Madame Chu Delicacies
  • Madre Yerba
  • Off the Block
  • Perfect Imperfections
  • QB’s Magnetic Creations
  • SuperCharge! Foods
  • Tortillas Los Angeles
  • Wisconsin Mujer

Holiday discounts

Many MarketReady merchants are offering special products and discounts for the holidays. Check out the MarketReady Holidays page for all the details.

 

MarketReady Program Participants in the Media Spotlight


Previous blogs on this page have described the activities of the MarketReady Program. Sponsored by the City of Madison and administered by the Northside Planning Council on behalf of the Madison Public Market, MarketReady provides training, supportive services and micro-grants for entrepreneurs interested in becoming Market vendors. Program recipients are typically individuals from groups facing historic barriers to entrepreneurship, including low income, immigrants, women, displaced workers, veterans and LGBTQ individuals.

MarketReady staff provide hours of individual and group-based guidance, mentorship and other hands-on support to the new business owners. Many are becoming successful beyond their dreams, and the local media is taking notice. During the last month or so, MarketReady vendors were featured in print, online, on television, and in podcasts.

Kristina Abasso and her Abasso Market Deli venture was featured in the Capital Times Bright Ideas of 2018 series. The article Bright Ideas 2018: Open a vegan Native American deli describes her public market plans for a plant-based deli featuring tribal sourced ingredients.

Donale Richards was also featured in the same series. Bright Ideas 2018: Listen to kids, especially those facing barriers describes his upbringing in Madison as well as his journey through UW and current role with Mentoring Positives. This organization is the driving force behind Off the Block Salsa, a local favorite and potential Public Market vendor.

SuperCharge! Foods, located across First Street from the proposed Madison Public Market site, was written up on the Capital Times front page and featured in a podcast. Read about their success in The Big Squeeze: Madison juice bars get in on cleansing kick. The Corner Table podcast with Jamaal Strickland, SuperCharge! sales director, is also a fun listen. SuperCharge! Foods is now providing goods to a juice bar vendor in the Milwaukee Public Market. This will help them get a sense for future demand at the Madison Public Market.

Jasmine Banks and her Perfect Imperfections body care products company was the subject of the Isthmus article Perfect Imperfections presents a healthy alternative in body care. The current product line includes deodorant, lip balm, body oil, natural scrubs whipped body butter and more.

Monica O’Connell of Curtis & Cake takes the cake with a double whammy in media attention. Her wedding cakes were showcased in Brava Magazine and she also enjoyed a Wisconsin Life feature video produced by Wisconsin Public Television.

Please reach out to these and other MarketReady participants to wish them well. Even if they have not received media attention recently, they deserve your encouragement and support.

Thanks!