Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) inside
Shed 3 @ Eastern Market
*Detroit Bookfest would not have been possible at Eastern Market without the love and support of Eastern Market Manager Lonni Thomas*
Detroit is a great American city and the Eastern Market Neighborhood is one of the top retail districts in Detroit and one of the top food hubs in the USA.
The Eastern Market District has been around since 1891 and contains over 250 businesses and the entire neighborhood is growing at a rapid rate.
Eastern Market is a phenomenal resource and destination spot. I cannot imagine the City of Detroit without Eastern Market, that’s how important the Eastern Market District is to the entire Greater Detroit community.
The five Sheds at Eastern Market are large consumer buildings and total around 165,000 square feet of space, which is used as both wholesale food market on some days and rented out for a wide variety of public & private events on other days.
Eastern Market Manager, Lonni Thomas, has been a pivotal figure at the Market over the past few years and this is her tale.
“I was born and raised in Detroit. I love working at Eastern Market! I also like to read, write, dance, etc. I also love going to poetry slams. To me, poetry is so emotional and effective and listening to different poetry live can really have an impact on you by making you think differently about things.”
Lonni Arrives at Eastern Market
“I was adopted into the Eastern Market Corporation family in 2010 as a Farm Stand Fellow. I used to do the food assistance tokens program here, which is designed to help people have greater access to fresh produce. Through that I gained several great relationships, including Dan Carmody and Doshia Barton.”
“I used to volunteer at the EMC office on weekends. Then in 2011, I graduated from Wayne State University and needed a job. The woman who used to design t-shirts for Eastern Market was in transition and before she did, she helped get me into her position and I started designing Eastern Market gear and apparel. Progressively, I started creating relationships with Eastern Market vendors. And as the variety of my responsibilities increased, I started spending more and more time at the Market.”
“I had office experience from my days working as a WSU Student Assistant, so I began shadowing the Sunday Market Manager at Eastern Market in 2014 because she needed an assistant. A few years later, through a series of gradual internal promotions, I was given the Sunday Market Manager position in 2016. Since then we have increased our footprint significantly and sustainably.”
“I also coordinate the Tuesday Market Community Programs and the Thursday Night Market.”
Eastern Market 101
“Eastern Market is a historic urban public market. Overall, the Market is robust and vivacious and can get real busy. The Market is a great, safe atmosphere, no matter what day you come visit. We attract a very diverse group of people and the Eastern Market District has a wide variety of merchants.”
“Eastern Market is run by the EMC. The Eastern Market Corporation is a non-profit that was started in 2006 to manage Eastern Market. The City of Detroit owns the land and used to run the Market prior to the formation of the EMC. A group of urban planners pitched the idea of revitalizing the Eastern Market District. The city loved it and let them take over the Market.”
“Our 150-acre expansion plan is in the works. Building on our food hub nickname, the plan is designed to help build the food innovation mission we have and create over 3,000 jobs by 2025.”
“We also have a brewery in our neighborhood now, the Eastern Market Brewing Company. And recently, Henry the Hatter moved from Broadway to Riopelle, just down the street from the EMBC.”
“One thing I love too is that artwork has become very prevalent throughout the District, especially the Murals in the Market series.”
“Murals in the Market has helped create over 100 murals in the district, making us as we say an ‘international public arts destination, while creating a world-class outdoor gallery of art’.”
“Many people want to know how they can open a brick-and-mortar storefront here in the district. I always tell them to contact the owners of the building they are interested in.”
The Legendary Dan Carmody
“Dan Carmody is the President of the EMC. Working with Dan is fun! He’s been responsible for my growth and helping to push me to get certain projects done. He doesn’t burn you for failing, he burns you for not trying.”
“In that 1999 movie ‘Life’, there’s a scene where two guys are standing on coke bottles, trying to keep their balance. That’s what it’s like working with Dan, he’s unpredictable daily, constantly and you appreciate the sense of unexpectedness.”
“Having Dan here is like having some zen monk here at Eastern Market who makes you think about things differently. Watching him give speeches about the Market and how he delivers our mission, it’s remarkable.”
Eastern Market’s Largest Events
“Eastern Market Flower Day started in 1967. The event is only one day long but averages 150,000-200,000 people. We do it in conjunction with the Metro Detroit Flower Growers Association. Flower Day opens everything, it’s the start of our season, the market starts blooming.”
“Eastern Market After Dark started in 2010. It’s a creative arts event that we do in conjunction with the Detroit Design Festival. We get about 25,000 people for it.”
“The Detroit Festival of Books, also known as Detroit Bookfest, is an incredibly positive and popular event. The very first year, there were well over 10,000 attendees, which is just wild for a first-time event to have that many people there.”
“People are excited and curious about Bookfest. Everybody wants to sell books and records and other stuff at it. I get asked almost daily if Bookfest is still accepting vendors, it’s crazy how many people are interested in the event. Bookfest is one of the top vendor events we’ve ever seen in the city, everyone wants to be a vendor. It’s a true phenomenon.”
“Detroit Bookfest this year might have over 20,000 people.”
Here are some of Lonni’s favorite go-to eateries in Detroit:
Basement Burger Bar (1326 Brush St) for the turkey burger and the mambo burger
Cutters (2638 Orleans st) and Café D’Mongo’s (1439 Griswold St) are her favorite bars
Stache International (1416 E. Fisher Service Dr) for the Southern Belle sandwich
Andiamo’s (400 Renaissance Center) Italian food inside the RenCen while overlooking the Detroit River
2941 Street Food (4219 Woodward) Fantastic Mediterranean food from a world-class chef
Lonni’s Final Thoughts
“I love Detroit. I was born here, raised here, still live here. I’m here until my cup runneth over. Detroit’s revitalization has been in the making for at least 10 years.”
“We’re witnessing a tremendous transformation right now stemming from a plan created by people who have been business owners for a few decades here.”
“Detroit is often called “the city that grew from ashes” a few yeas ago but in actuality our house never burned down fully because we have such a strong foundation.”
Eastern Market Weekly Market Days
Thursday Night Market
225 vendors; 40,000 guests
Eastern Market Homepage
Maps of Eastern Market
List of Businesses in Eastern Market
4th International Mural Fest with 1xRUN in September 2018
Dan Carmody’s article on the Market
Eastern Market’s 2025 Strategy Plan
E & B Brewery Lofts (Located in the Eastern Market District inside the old Eckhardt & Becker Brewery which brewed beer here 1891-1969)
We have been eagerly awaiting this exciting grand opening all year long!
We are proud to announce that the Eastern Market Brewing Company will have their Grand Opening kickoff party at 6pm on Friday, October 20th, 2017.
Some highlights include:
Also, be sure to walk down the street and check out the new home of Henry the Hatter (2472 Riopelle, Detroit).
And if you go to the annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival at Eastern Market Shed 5 later this month, definitely make sure you walk down to Eastern Market Brewing Company!
Congrats to the crew at Eastern Market Brewing Company! Come join us for an amazing grand opening!
Friday, October 20th, 2017
Eastern Market Brewing Company
2515 Riopelle Street
Detroit, MI 48207
Danny Jacobs graphic designer
Opening a brewery in the Eastern Market section of Detroit is a genius idea.
The upcoming Eastern Market Brewing Co. has several brave young entrepreneurs at the helm who are combining delicious beer, bold new ideas, a focus on community spirit and a healthy obsession with elephants into what is shaping up to be one of the hottest new brewery openings in a long time for Detroit.
Dayne Bartscht, a snappy dresser with a British university education (ie: MBA from University of Cambridge in England) and advanced sense of community unification, is co-owner, along with friends Devin Drowley, Paul Hoskin, Brad Silverman and Dave Keyte.
Four of the five friends attended Northwestern University outside Chicago. Devin is a homebrewer and Dayne owns a barn in Ann Arbor where beer experiments are conducted on a 1-barrel (ie: 2 kegs) pilot system.
Recently, I toured the brewery with co-owners Dayne & Devin and Caroline Forster, the PR and events coordinator. I was able to hear the fascinating tale of the creation of the Eastern Market Brewing Company.
“Everything just kind of fell into place for us with this whole thing,” says Dayne, “My wife and I have a one-year old. We were living in England and found that many people in Europe have a very bad impression of Detroit, so I found myself becoming a passionate advocate of the city. We finally decided to move back, start a family and a business.”
“I saw this building was for sale, so I called the faded phone number of the side of it. The owner called me back two weeks later. We bought the building and we’ve been working on creating a startup brewery here ever since.”
The building Dayne is referring to is the circa 1929, two-story, 5,200-square foot old meat packing plant located at 2515 Riopelle Street, which will soon house their brewery.
“We’re going to have a main taproom on the ground floor,” says Dayne, “Beer will stay in big tanks and be tapped directly to the bar. There will be long German-style beer hall tables here.”
“Upstairs, we have a large open room of exposed and sand-blasted brick walls, that will be a games room of cornhole and shuffleboard. Then above this, we will have a rooftop beer garden.”
“We also want to create a small brewery-related library on the ground floor comprised of shelves overflowing with books about beer and the brewing industry for anyone to read.”
“We are starting off small with a 5-barrel system,” Dayne says, “We’ll have an interesting portfolio of 9 to 12 beers and we will use local ingredients from Eastern Market in the beers.”
“No bottling plant as of right now. However, we will have some food in the form of a food truck outside and a small kitchen inside for pop-up’s and later, food pairings.”
“Hazen Schumacher, who is a native Detroiter, is our head brewer. He has major street cred since he worked at Bells Brewery, Atwater Brewery for 16 years, Brew Detroit, etc. We’re very lucky to have him on-board. Hazen will be joined by assistant brewer Sean Bourke.”
Danny Jacobs designed their elephant logo, which is significant because not a lot of breweries have animals as logos.
“The elephant is a really social animal, an animal that works well with their community. The elephant is a sign of luck and collaboration, values we think best represent the brand,” says PR & Events Coordinator Caroline Forster.
Caroline Forster says, “I grew up on Detroit’s Eastside, then moved to Paris and the Netherlands, got into craft beer while living in the Netherlands, and wanted to be a part of the Detroit renaissance, so here I am.”
Devin Drowley has also been intimately involved in the entire operation.
“We’ve been incredibly lucky and fortunate,” says Devin, “The City of Detroit has been very supportive through this whole process. The hardest parts have been navigating the maze of paperwork, plan review, zoning, getting contractors, etc, it’s been a lot to organize.”
“It’s also surprisingly hard to find a mason. A lot of the masons are booked up. Our general contractor is great though. Once again, we are very thankful to everyone who is helping us out.”
Until they open, you can catch Eastern Market Brewing Co. selling merchandise at the end of Shed 2 on Market Street.
When they do open for business, you can enter the main door on Riopelle Street or they will also have an A-frame easel sign in the alley with an alley entrance, so you can walk right from Eastern Market to the brewery!
Dayne sums everything up nicely, “Beer is a great way to bring people together.”
After you check out the 1st annual Detroit Festival of Books on Sunday, July 16th, you can walk from Shed 5 down the street to the Eastern Market Brewing Company!
Great books, great beer, great Eastern Market, great day in Detroit, what more do you need?
Eastern Market Brewing Company
2515 Riopelle Street
Detroit, MI 48207
Danny Jacobs graphic designer