Market on Main artisan shops are under new ownership, featuring many of the same product lines the community has loved and supported in recent years.
“When we heard that Market on Main was for sale, it all clicked together,” said co-owner Lily Kunning. “Lily’s apothecary is a vendor there, and we vended at farmers markets in the area, so we were familiar with the shop and lived it as much as everyone else does.”
But there are also new vendors and new ideas, in general, heading to MoM.
“We have a lot of exciting plans for the expansion of MoM: the scratch kitchen, becoming part of a local resilient food system by selling from more local farms and accepting SNAP, being a small business incubator to help people grow the community and the economy together,” Kunning said. “We will be hosting a slate of classes and events each month, working to make the space active and an asset to the Bridgeport area.”
Kunning is MoM general manager. She is an herbalist, farmer and educator. She will be scheduling classes, vetting vendors, and heading up merchandising and marketing for the shop. The other three co-owners of the business are Oberyn Kunning, a production cook and chef who will be the kitchen manager; Corum Wood, a food and beverage professional who will run the front-of-house beverage and ice cream station; and Aaron Jones, inventory manager. The four individuals also co-own a 12-acre forest farm in Grafton.
The new owners believe former MoM operative, Perris Reed, did an amazing job building something that the community has come to love. Keeping the same name honors her hard work and lets folks know that the farmers and artisan markets are still there.
There are about 60 artisans and farms represented at MoM. During the first week open, several new vendors were added including Heelbilly Hound dog treats, shapelessflame art, Sew Gigi Sew quilts, North Country Charcuterie, and another cheesemonger, Smith’s Cheese.
Tenants featuring their own stores include The Woodword Bookstore, owned by Corum Wood; Roundabout Records, LoCasto Instrument Lessons, Caitlinteriors, interior design and home décor; Pen and Posh, Cricut designs and curator of a podcast on women’s entrepreneurship; and The Yarnery, yarn and amigarumi crochet animals which has moved to the main sales floor, and Kunning’s herbal business, which will also feature herbal and wellness consultations and classes.
“Haven Herbs will bring their entire inventory to the shop in the next month or so and start fulfilling their ecommerce orders from Market on Main,” Kunning said. “It is moving from a small footprint to a whole section of the farmer’s market in the shop.
As for the grocery component of MoM, the plan is to expand, increasing retail freezer space, a walk-in cooler and other equipment to preserve seasonal produce to create grab and go items, insta meal kits and value-added products.
“We want to become a key step in building a resilient food system in the area that focuses on small local farms,” Kunning said.
Ready-to-order food will debut in April on Fridays.
“April includes quiches, tacos, chili, gourmet grilled cheese, and handcrafted soup. We will have pepperoni rolls, cookies, and other pastries Friday through Sundays,” Kunning said.  “We hope to introduce grab-and-go and insta-meals (frozen, Crock Pot-ready meals for busy people) in May.”
Also in the works is a beverage station where cold brew, coffee, kombucha on tap will be available, as well as handcrafted sodas, ice cream, teas and more.
Millie’s ice cream is returning, and MoM resident teen Rowan will be on hand scooping treats this summer.
 A full list of vendors can be found HERE at Market on Main’s Website. More are welcome. Prospective new members will find an application on the site.
“We want more vendors in the farmer’s market as well as on the artisan floor: More pottery, more wood working, more needlecraft, more jewelry, stained glass, 3D printing, and “ Kunning said. More,” Kunning said. “We are always looking for unique items and hope to curate a collection not seen elsewhere. By having a large collection, there will be something to appeal to most!”
Pop-up events and an array of classes and gatherings are also a part of the new MoM vision.
“We want vendors to come in and do sampling, demonstrations, and classes,” Kunning said. “We want all our local talent to shine!”
Curent hours of operation (March through May) are 11-6 Wednesday through Saturday and 2-6 Sunday. Hours will be extended during the summer months.