Amanda Larch | News Editor
The Market of downtown Huntington welcomes new ideas and businesses as much as customers. The indoor shopping center hasn’t stopped expanding or remodeling since it opened last year. So far, The Market is home to eight businesses, including Austin’s Homemade Ice Cream and Butter It Up, a health food restaurant and grocery, and there’s only one space left for another shop to open.
New plans for the summer include an outdoor patio where customers can visit and eat food purchased from inside, and The Market wants to offer live entertainment, too.
The most recent business to open at The Market is Tulsi, a health and wellness grocery store. Travis Lemon, Tulsi’s co-owner, said he wanted his shop to offer many healthy options.
“I’ve worked in this health and wellness field for about fourteen years, so I went from that, and we decided to open up our own place,” Lemon said. “We’ve been calling it a natural grocery and wellness store, so we’ve been doing a lot of organic, natural grocery products, snacks, organic snacks, refrigerated frozen stuff, specialty foods like gluten free, low allergen foods, as well as a pretty large line of supplements and some other health food products too.”
Lemon said one aspect of The Market that really interested him was its transformation of nightclubs and bars to a thriving business center.
“It was just such a neat idea,” Lemon said. “I think taking this building that had been empty for a while and before that it was just bars and nightclubs and stuff like that, to take that and turn it into something for local businesses was really a cool idea; that’s what drew us to it.”
The Hip Eagle is another new addition to The Market. A trendy women’s clothing boutique, The Hip Eagle offers various discounts for different groups, and the employees hope to give back to the community in the near future.
“Periodically we do discounts for teachers, students, expecting mothers and different people like that,” Carrie Gue, employee, said. “[Owner] Maggie wants to give back to the community, so maybe for babies, she would do a diaper drive. Once the store is established, she wants to start doing things like that, like little fundraisers.”
Gue is a Marshall student, and she said one of her favorite aspects of her job at The Market is meeting so many different people but also seeing those she recognizes.
“I like to see people, and I usually see somebody I know every time I work, or at least a couple people,” Gue, senior special education major, said. “So, it’s nice to see people I know, and The Market itself is always pretty busy.”
The Wildflower Gift Gallery offers a selection of unique gifts, home décor, West Virginia items and homemade crafts. It was one of the first shops to open at The Market last November.
Anna Dillard, an employee at the Gift Gallery, said she loved the idea of the open space market and the variety of customers she sees every day.
“I just like the atmosphere, it’s really fun,” Dillard said. “There’s a lot of different types of people that come through, and people can bring their ice cream in here, and come in here while they’re waiting for their food at different places, so it’s been really fun.”
The Market is located on Third Avenue, and it is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Amanda Larch can be contacted at [email protected]