NewBo City Market Shaking Up Vendors, Adding Another Day

By Dave Franzman, Reporter


By Dave Franzman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- Four vendors at the one-year-old NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids aren’t getting new leases to continue serving up food and other products. But market officials say such turnover, while the most since the market opened in October of 2012, isn’t unusual for a venue that can serve as a business incubator to encourage tenants to move into their own business locations.

Kristie Wetjen, executive director at NewBo, said Cedar Rapids Popcorn, Chill, Russian Delights and Iowa Soul Food are the vendors who either have left or will be leaving the three-day-a-week indoor market at the end of February. Wetjen said lease details are private and wouldn’t disclose reasons in individual cases. However, she did say it’s important to keep adding new vendors to the mix to keep customers coming back. NewBo saw a total of 230,000 visitors in the calendar year 2013. Leases vary in length, but most have a 30-day-notice clause that either side can use to stop operations.

Tatyana Kieler, co-owner of the Russian Delights, said she and her husband got a registered letter last Thursday informing them NewBo was cancelling their lease effective February 28th. Kieler said the letter didn’t state a reason for the notice. Kieler still operates a coffee shop in Hiawatha, but said she and her husband wanted to continue serving food and beverages at NewBo. Kieler and her husband invested at least $10,000 in equipment to use only at the NewBo location. She said that equipment, used barely more than a year, will have to go in storage.

Wetjen said there at currently 22 permanent vendors at the market which is open Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. She said leases are being negotiated with others and the market will have to find room for 25 or 26 total vendors shortly.

And those remaining at NewBo will soon put in more hours each week. Wetjen said the market, by popular request, will open on Fridays beginning the first Friday in April. Fridays will see vendors open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00pm. That’s the same hours of operation as Saturday and Sunday. The market on Thursdays will open at 10:00 a.m. but remain open in the evenings until 8:00 p.m.

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