Featured Business: Kenosha HarborMarket

9/27/2018 - Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

Downtown, Featured Business, Foodie, Shopping
flowers at Kenosha HarborMarket
Kenosha HarborMarket
Kenosha HarborMarket
Kenosha HarborMarket
Kenosha HarborMarket, Kenosha Public Museum fountain, HarborPark
baskets for sale at Kenosha HarborMarket - Winter HarborMarket

It’s a place for growers, producers, bakers, artists, crafters, musicians, entrepreneurs, future shop owners, and consumers to gather and mingle each Saturday. For the regular participants, it truly is the place where everyone knows your name. For someone who wants to know where his/her food comes from, this is the place to go to find out. This is Kenosha HarborMarket, which started in 2003 near Kenosha’s Lake Michigan shore. It’s an open-air, European-style, mixed market that now operates year-round. In the summer, it’s held outdoors along Second Avenue between 54th and 56th Streets and at Place de Douai near the Southport Marina. On the busiest summer weekends, 150+ vendors can be found at the market, and there are three areas for live music.

From mid-October to mid-May, Winter HarborMarket is held inside the historic Rhode Center for the Arts with around 30 vendors. The winter market opened in 2008. Both markets are operated by Kenosha Common Markets, Inc. and offer fresh produce, meat, fish, cheese, artisan goods, prepared foods, and more.

Many entrepreneurs have opened storefronts for their businesses as a result of being vendors at HarborMarket. David and Sandy Hawes started as a vendor at the market in 2006, as Sandy’s Popper Express. In 2008, they opened their shop called Sandy’s Popper, which expanded into adjacent space in 2015. They offer fresh gourmet popcorn; caramel, cheese, and flavor-glazed popcorn; ice cream; nostalgic and gourmet sweets; and more. Likewise, Robin Shiels had a booth at HarborMarket before opening her storefront Robin’s Nest Cakery in 2011. Her custom order sweet shop has since expanded.

Kelly Deem counts HarborMarket as one of the farmer markets where she got her start – selling strawberry jam. Since then she opened (and moved) Elsie Mae’s Bakery & Cannery and started Myrtle Mae’s Sugar Emporium next door. Elsie Mae’s offers fresh baked pies and 100+ seasonal varieties of jam, canned preserves, drink mixes, specialty potpies, and more. Myrtle Mae’s serves creative desserts, ice cream, and candy.

This concept of market vendors opening storefronts is why Ray Forgianni, President of Kenosha Common Markets, Inc., has called the market a “laboratory for entrepreneurs.” In a previous interview with the Kenosha Area CVB, Ray explained that rather than buying a building or renting space, an aspiring entrepreneur can use the market as a “relatively inexpensive way to experiment in a business.”

In September 2018, the local Kenosha News newspaper named Ray Forgianni one of Ten Exceptional People in Kenosha County. In publicity for that honor, Ray is cited as the “force behind HarborMarket” and he credits Toronto’s indoor St. Lawrence Market and the Rue Cler street market in Paris, France, as his inspiration for HarborMarket.

Here’s more scoop about Kenosha HarborMarket:

  • The market’s located on the Electric Streetcar line and outside the doors of the Kenosha Public Museum and Civil War Museum. It’s steps from the harbor and Sculpture Walk.
  • The market offers Market Moola, an incentive program that provides matching funds to SNAP/EBT users who shop at approved vendor stands that supply foods for the household to consume at home. Thanks to generous donations, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants can get matching funds per EBT card per market day.
  • The first Saturday of December, a collaborative event combines Winter HarborMarket, the Civil War Museum’s Victorian Christmas, Kenosha Public Museum’s International Holiday Faire, and more. The event is called Kenosha HarborHoliday – International Market & Festival, with the market taking place at its summer location under large heated tents.
  • In June 2017, Kenosha HarborMarket was named as one of “13 Farmers’ Markets Worth Traveling For” in America, in an online post for Bon Appetit's Healthyish by Perri O. Blumberg.

No matter the season – whether shopping for your weekly meals or holiday dinner table and browsing for gifts or holiday decorations – make a point to stop at Kenosha HarborMarket! Before long, everyone will know YOUR name!

2018 Key Dates:

Kenosha HarborMarket outdoors through Oct 13: 9am-2pm

Kenosha WinterMarket indoors starting Oct 20: 10am-2pm

(262) 914-1252,

October 2018

Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Staff

Brought to you by the team at the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. We're here to help you find fun in the Kenosha Area.