The spacious garage of a former auto repair shop in Mentor was buzzing with activity on May 29, but no one was working on the cars.

Instead, an array of suppliers had settled in and welcomed customers for the grand opening to the Great Lakes market.

Located inside the former Firestone Auto Care business in Great Lakes Shopping Center, the market has 5,500 feet of indoor space for shopping and entertainment. The building’s eight garage doors can also be raised to create an outdoor market, although they remained closed during a cold first day of operation.

“Eventually, we can hopefully also organize food trucks and car shows in the parking lot,” said Sherri Falkenberg, Founder and CEO of Lake events.

Falkenberg will coordinate and oversee the operations of the Great Lakes Market. She is convinced that it will achieve the same popularity as the Midday Market that she launched at the mall.

“I had hosted the Midday Market, with local vendors, inside the Great Lakes Mall since December 12,” Falkenberg said.

She said the midday market had been very successful in promoting businesses of all types, but had gone beyond the indoor space. The Great Lakes Open Air Market will continue weekly until Halloween.

A look at some of the 60 vendors who showcased their products at the Great Lakes Market Grand Opening in Mentor on May 29th. The market and entertainment complex is located in the former Firestone Auto Care at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor.

“We will be going inside for the winter,” Falkenberg said.

During its season, the Great Lakes market will be open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Thursdays, from June 3 to October 28, dance-related activities will take place on the market’s new dance floor. Lisa Ferrara, owner of Your Next Move dance studio in Eastlake, will give a special needs dance class at 6 p.m. each Thursday at the market and lead a Dance Fit session that same day at 7 p.m. Falkenberg described Dance Fit as “a fun way to exercise, incorporating dance”.

Falkenberg and Ferrara teamed up to cut the ribbon at the market’s grand opening on May 29.

“I’m thrilled,” Falkenberg said before traditional slicing slicing, as she surveyed a market filled with suppliers and customers. “We have had inauguration ceremonies for other people before, but I never dreamed that we would do one for me. So I’m very excited.”

Sixty vendors, selling products ranging from soy candles and jewelry to personalized wreaths, attended the inaugural session of the market.

Sue Luck and Nancy Wolff, co-owners of Repurposing with a Purpose, had one of the tables closest to the front door of the market.

Opening of the Great Lakes market 2

The Great Lakes market held its grand opening on May 29. Located in the former Firestone Auto Care at the Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, the market and entertainment complex includes 5,500 feet of interior space.

“We collect items that we reuse,” said Luck, who resides in Willoughby. “During the pandemic, we walked a lot of beaches, drank wine, and then we decided to get creative.”

While Luck’s specialty is creating works of art from beach glass, Wolff takes bottles of wine and turns them into lights.

“They are all very safe, great to use, and have little switches on them,” Luck said.

Luck and Wolff, who lives in Perry Township, began reusing for purpose about six months ago. The company was a vendor at the midday market in Falkenberg during the winter and early spring.

Wolff praised Falkenberg for developing the idea of ​​tapping the Great Lakes market during the warmer months.

“I think it’s a great use of space,” she said. “(The old auto service center) has been cleaned up and it’s now a great place for vendors to get together and sell their wares.”

Falkenberg said it would not have been possible to launch Great Lakes Market without all the support she has received from loyal Midday Market vendors and the cooperation of Great Lakes Mall staff.

She said the May 29 opening marked a fantastic start for the Great Lakes market.

“It will continue to grow,” Falkenberg said. “We can promote anyone who has a product or service to offer. We’re looking for more food trucks, we also need anyone selling plants and fresh produce. We need all of that stuff. ”

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