The Kenosha Public Market

Vision Statement: To create a year-round facility, located in Downtown Kenosha, that is the destination for local food leadership, economy, and culture in the region…

  • …through entrepreneurialism – by supporting the food economy (innovation, production, processing, and preparation)
  • …through education – by supporting healthy lifestyles, nutritional awareness, and building the average food intelligence quotient of citizens.
  • …through access – by provided access to retail and wholesale opportunity of food and food products and services.
  • …through culture – by building social awareness of food and the impact of the food industry in the community.

Mission Statement: The Kenosha Public Market is a community driven effort to provide a facility in Downtown Kenosha that acts as a community hub and physical marketplace that supports food entrepreneurialism, education, access, and culture for the City of Kenosha, Kenosha County, and the entire region.


History

Early in 2015, the City of Kenosha and Kenosha Common Markets Inc. (owner of Harbor Market), embarked on a partnership together with Downtown Kenosha Inc. and the Kenosha Area Business Alliance to investigate the feasibility of creating a year-round Downtown food market. As part of the Downtown Strategic Development plan, this effort has been identified as a key component to create a more sustainable and successful grown pattern for Downtown Kenosha.

A national market consultant, Ted Spitzer, was contracted to provide a full study of the question and in fall of 2015, after a considerable market analysis and through many stakeholder interactions, a final Kenosha Public Market feasibility study was published. This document confirms the demand for a market type development in the region, and goes on to suggest what project scope and strategies might be employed to create a successful and sustainable market facility.

A substantial facility is envisioned as a goal, one that supports a variety of food and food industries and providing a hub for both economic and social activity. This facility would be a long-term investment for the region and become a destination for food-related culture.

A Kenosha Public Market Steering Committee has been formed, made of local volunteers and stakeholders, to help guide the ongoing process of investigation and implementation of this goal. The process will be laborious and long term, and the planning and preparation are ongoing.


Small Steps First – Common Food Production Facility “Community Kitchen”

To build the momentum required to support such a venture in the community, several small steps are being pursued by the Steering Committee in the meantime. One is the development of a Common Food Production/Processing Facility. Defined in many ways, this “Community Kitchen” would be developed independently and in advance of the development of large central Kenosha Public Market. This smaller facility would be available for rent on an hourly and daily basis by many food industry professionals. Startup food businesses, small batch producers, or caterers would be primary users of the space, but it is envisioned that this kitchen would eventually become a food industry incubator. Once a small facility is in place, a scalable business model for operations may be tested and evolved over time.

After gaining support to develop a full-scale Kenosha Public Market facility, this smaller kitchen would eventually relocate to the larger Market and scale its operations accordingly to create a vital income producing element for the Kenosha Public Market.