FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne residents reacted to the announcement of two merchants leaving Union Street Market at Electric Works while at the Fort Wayne Farmer’s Market Wednesday.
B&B Market is set to leave Union Street Market, and Bragg A Lot Sweets and Drink has already left. One vendor cited reasons like high rent, market officials taking a percentage of profits, vendors having to pay for employee parking, and that market officials are now asking for back utilities. Another reason mentioned was not enough foot traffic.
The Farmers Market has been held at Electric Works every Wednesday and Saturday since May 2023. Gail Roberts with The Old Farmhouse said moving the market to Electric Works has had a positive effect on her business.
“There’s definitely been an uptick with our Wednesday market just being here, we see more people come through that ordinarily probably wouldn’t have found us at our old location,” Roberts said.
Drew Fletcher and Derek Hockemeyer both said they are sad to see the two merchants go.
“It’s a little nerve-racking,” Drew said. “I feel like all merchants here are really good merchants and merchants that people have enjoyed any time like any of our other vendors, like talk about it or we hear about it. It is like kind of you’re losing a part of the family, especially since Electric Works is such a big developmental crop-like project for Fort Wayne. And it’s just like, it’s sad to see somebody go when they put so much into it.”
Hockemeyer said he’s been going to Union Street Market since it opened and has noticed changes.
“It was a few people kind of closing and leaving and there’s a few other people who are kind of worried that the rent is a little bit too high for their business. So I think there’s just kind of a general anxiety here at the market,” Hockemeyer said.