I made the trip north to Lansing last month to experience the grand opening of the new Lansing City Market in Downtown Lansing, along the shores of the Grand River. Several years ago during a field trip for a urban geography class, I visited the city market. It seemed rather dead at the time, with hardly anybody around. Not the case at the grand opening of the new building. There were so many people it was rather difficult to move just as it was challenging to find a parking spot. I am happy that they were busy, but hopefully it will be more spread out during the week. For their grand opening, they had a lot of things going on, including a pie eating contest for kids, face painting (my 2 year daughter got a pink butterfly face), free sample galore, and more.
The Lansing City Market has a collection of vendors all under one roof. It's different from a farmer's market in that not all the vendors are actually farmers and the market is open more than just on Saturday as most farmer's markets are. There are vendors that are selling produce, but you also have a cheese vendor, bakeries, a creamery, a place that sells gelato, and a grain shop specializing in all sorts of grains, just to name a few.
Here are some things I want to mention about a few of the businesses I saw at the market:
I bought a bottle of a Jamaican pineapple soda pop here. They also had a couple other unique soft drinks, including some teas. I also saw them selling Amish Country popcorn in a couple different colors as well as selling corn meal.
The Grain Market
They had alot of interesting types of grains. They also sell a grain mill, if you want to make your own fresh flour, which I think is cool. The Grain Market wants to encourage the use of whole grains in your everyday diet and are more than willing to help you achieve that with great products and their expertise.
Hills Home Cheese
They had a nice long line throughout the time I was there, but I did get to try some samples. They seem to have a nice selection of cheeses including several that were made locally in Michigan.
Iorio Italian Ice
I noticed their gelato flavors and thought they sounded good, but wasn't in need of a frozen dessert at the time. I did see a lot of people carrying around cups from their shop.
This is one of the vendors I looked most forward to visiting. Their products are top of the line. I got to sample both some of their ice cream and their excellent chocolate milk. I bought a bag of cheese curds from them. I have found their products before at Horrock's in Lansing. We also like their butter and cream line milk.
Otto's Fresh Chicken
Located right next to MOO-ville was Otto's Fresh Chicken. They sell farm fresh, hormone free, antibiotic free chicken. They had every cut of chicken you would want, including whole and the prices were good for chicken that you know was cared for well.
Sweet Seasons Orchards
I got some great deals at Sweet Seasons Orchards stand. I got to sample some great apple cider and made sure to pick some up to drink later. I got a good deal on some empire apples and my wife picked up a bag of mixed nuts. They had several different bags of dried nuts and dried beans. The service was also great.
Even though it was mass chaos at the opening it was still an enjoyable experience and I look forward to coming back next time I am in the Lansing area. Their hours are: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday. They are located at 325 City Market Dr., Lansing, MI 48912 not far from the corner of Cedar and Shiawassee streets.