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Videos: Downtown Market reveals first tenants: Simpatico Coffee and Love's Ice Cream

March 4, 2013
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Videos: Downtown Market reveals first two indoor tenants: Simpatico Coffee and Love's Ice Cream
Holland-based Simpatico Coffee aims to “restore ethics to an industry that has become non-transparent.” Image via fb.com

Coffee and ice cream will be available at the new Downtown Market when it opens this summer.

Simpatico Coffee and Love’s Ice Cream were announced as the market’s first two indoor vendors this morning. There will be 24 total vendors in the year-round space. Additionally, during the summer months an outdoor farmers market will bring more vendors to the Downtown Market. The farmers market is scheduled to open on Saturday, May 4, with the indoor market following later in the summer.

Both companies were introduced via Facebook videos this morning on the Downtown Market’s Facebook page.

Simpatico Coffee, located in Holland and founded by Alex Fink 18 months ago, is a coffee roaster focused on ethical coffee production. The company purchases all of its 100 percent Arabica coffee beans directly from farmers in the rural state of Oaxaca, Mexico. The company then processes, exports, imports and roasts them itself, eliminating all middlemen typical in the coffee process, and helping the company pay farmers fairly while keeping coffee prices affordable.

“We are super excited about moving Simpatico Coffee into the Downtown Market,” Fink said in the video. “It’s going to allow us to roast in front of people. It’s going to allow a lot of people an introduction to our product. We are trying to make coffee fun again, show people where the beans come from, talk to them, show them how coffee is roasted, and let them try our fresh-roasted product right after it comes out of the roaster. It will be an eye-opening experience, we hope.”

Love’s Ice Cream, founded by Chris McKeller and located in Grand Rapids, is a new business that will make its debut at the Downtown Market. Also focused on ethical production, the company’s hand-crafted ice cream is created from local organic, grass-grazed dairy. It also produces organic non-dairy ice cream for the vegan or lactose-intolerant ice cream lover.

“I’m a little bit obsessive about ingredients,” said McKeller, in the video.

“I found that it was very hard to find ice cream that you could really trust, that you knew where the ingredients came from. So I went on a search, how to make the best ice cream I could with as few ingredients as possible.”

McKeller said he is extremely excited to be debuting his new product at the Downtown Market.

The 25,000-square-foot market space promises something for every taste. In addition to the indoor vendors and outdoor farmers market, the location will also house a restaurant, a brewery, retail shops, a commercial kitchen, a rooftop greenhouse and the country’s first hands-on kitchen for kids.

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