WRITER | LISA BECKER CAMPBELL
PHOTO | CITY OF MUSKEGON
Looking for a special summer outing in West Michigan other than exploring the beaches and dunes or hiking? Visit the Muskegon Western Market, which is just three miles away from the P.J. Hoffmaster State Park. Set amidst tents and trucks, this isn’t your typical farm market. The Muskegon Western Market is a collection of 17 “chalets,” unique mini-boutiques offering beautiful products created both locally and across the globe.
Edibles include a bountiful selection of specialty food items: select flavored popcorn and supplies, artisan sweetshop small-batch baked goods, Michigan-made pretzels, salsas, candies, ice creams, and even doughnuts specially prepared to be paired with beers.
Many products — such as the specialty English Muffin Bread from Morat’s Bakery — are served fresh daily.
Looking for artwork? Choose from among pen and ink drawings, African photographs, original vintage pieces, Lake Michigan sand-cast artwork, or driftwood paintings with local references such as “Life is better at Mona Lake.”
Jewelry options are plentiful, from fiber jewelry to charms to Obaku Denmark watches, and many more. Gift choices are also abundant, from Muskegon-area mementos, wine accessories, bath bombs, toys, even a novel shot glass that doubles as a golf tee.
Global products include eco-friendly home décor and authentic jewelry, from West African beads and fabric to fair-trade items that support humanitarian causes.
Unique selections from the 17 specialty “Pop-Up” boutiques include handspun yarn, musical instruments, patchwork sneakers, and boys and girls items made in Michigan.
“The Western Market is a win-win for small business owners and all sorts of shoppers in the community,” according to Anne Meisch, city clerk. “Muskegon currently has several housing and retail spaces under construction, but these spaces are one to two years from completion. By placing attractive shops at the Western Market, we created opportunities for small business owners to open their own shops at an affordable cost, along with delivering a lovely shopping venue that attracts tourists as well as our own residents.”
Visitors can delight in discovering items that are very much local and global at the same place. Meisch points out that, as an added benefit for the community, these shops will be moved to future locations as communities are revitalized.
Abeshi – Offers specialized jewelry created from West African Ghanaian beads and fabric, hand-sewn purses and handbags, even patchwork sneakers. Each item is crafted and stitched with the utmost skill and care.
Baby Bears Children’s Boutique – Features boys and girls clothing and accessories (newborn to 7 years) inspired by baby bear Isadora as well as affordable and unique toys, games, and gifts.
Bodhi Tree Market – Dedicated to selling eco-friendly and fair-trade items such as clothing, home decor, and more. All products support humanitarian efforts.
Donna Jeanne’s Sweet Dreams – An artisan sweet shop featuring small-batch baked goods and unique confections.
Vintastalgia – Savor the flair and character of yesterday’s treasures by buying vintage kitchen, home, and repurposed items along with original artwork.
Gems Near the Lakeshore – Choose a memento of Michigan – jewelry, t-shirts, totes, wine accessories, along with high-end jewelry such as Obaku Denmark Watches, a collection of designer watches, and more.
Maggie’s Gourmet Foods and Gifts – Offers Michigan-made products such as chips, salsa, pretzels, and candies as well as etched glass items and Muskegon and Michigan souvenirs.
Morat’s Bakery – This 75-year-old bakery provides freshly made bread using Michigan ingredients. The flagship product – Morat’s English Muffin Bread – will be served fresh daily.
Y-Knot Embroidery – Offers Muskegon/Lake Michigan mementos including embroidered and screen printed hats, bags, water bottles, coffee mugs, license plates, shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, beach towels and flip-flops. (Minimum orders may be required.)
Silipint – Presents 100% food-grade silicone drinkware that is BPA-free and microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. The product is also grillable, as it can withstand temperatures up to 650°. Novelty items include a shot glass that doubles as a golf tee. (Minimum orders may be required.)
Tatterweave – Features amazing handcrafted fiber arts and herbal crafts including soaps, fiber jewelry, dried florals, handspun yarn, wall art, seasonal items, and knitted and woven wearable art.
For those looking to rent a pop-up store, rates currently run from $1,325-$2,125, for the May to mid-December season.
Muskegon Western Market