Even before its construction, the Madison Public Market is already helping to grow the next generation of local food-based businesses. The Public Market will be a year- round, inclusive and welcoming community destination featuring a diverse pool of entrepreneurs offering fresh produce from local farmers, delicious locally made food products, and handcrafted arts and crafts.
After years of research and community discussion about the ideal Public Market location, the home for the Market will be at the corner of E. Washington Ave. and First Street. The former Fiore Shopping Center will be demolished and, in partnership with a private developer, a new mixed-use project that includes the Market will be built on that site.
A high priority of the Public Market is to spur new businesses to support the continued growth of our local food economy. A total of 30 entrepreneurs who have dreamed of starting a food-based or craft-based business are participating in the MarketReady Program to prepare their businesses for launch in the Public Market. The MarketReady participants are highly diverse, including 83% people of color, 19% female, and 33% first generation immigrants.
More than just a retail facility, the Public Market will include a Food Innovation Center (FIC), a small-scale shared food production and workforce training facility. It will help food entrepreneurs grow their businesses, train workers to fill needed positions in the food industry, and create opportunities for local institutional food buyers to source products from the region.
Recent popular public events, such as the Taste of the Madison Public Market, have demonstrated that the Public Market will become a powerful catalyst for entrepreneurship, as well as a unique and inviting community space that will become one of Madison's beloved destinations for both residents and visitors.