Detroit — Cynthia Davis sells her sweet and savory vegan popcorns throughout Metro Detroit.
Through the holiday season, the founder of Cynt-Sational Popcorn Co. will be among 30 vendors selling their goods downtown during this year’s Downtown Detroit Markets. It’s a taste of what it might be like to own a storefront location downtown.
“I’m from Detroit, born and raised,” she said. “It would be a great idea to see a healthy option down here on my home turf. We expect to give a part of that heartbeat with popcorn.”
Bedrock and Quicken Loans, organizers of the market, wanted to make Detroit a one-of-a-kind retail destination during the holiday season, said Francesca George, director of tenant development for Bedrock.
“It’s serving two purposes,” she said. “It’s serving the community because we’re bringing great options in for the people that are working and living in this area, but also we’re giving small businesses an opportunity to sell their goods, and hopefully eventually break into a brick and mortar type of location.”
Of the 30 vendors, 22 are minority-owned businesses.
The outdoor market will run from Friday to Jan. 7 in Cadillac Square, Capitol Park and Spirit Plaza. Vendors will sell their wares from 10-by-13-foot booths. Each booth is equipped with electricity, lighting, heaters and 24-hour security.
The market consists of heated glass houses in Capitol Park and Cadillac Square. Shoppers can stop in at a concierge station at 1001 Woodward and shop at several vendors there including Ash & Erie, which designs everyday clothes for shorter men and the Farmer’s Hand, an all-local, Detroit-based grocery and cafe.
Workshops will take place at 1001 Woodward, including how to make a gingerbread house. There’s also a gift-wrapping station for shoppers.
At Spirit Plaza, one can pick up handmade marshmallows from the Detroit Marshmallow Co. and then hang out in a heated dome.
Cadillac Square features a market area, an outdoor beer garden and a lodge equipped with comfortable couches and decorated Christmas trees. Central Bar + Kitchen, located across the street from Cadillac Square, runs the lodge.
The popcorn at Cynt-Sational Popcorn Co. is air popped, vegan with B vitamins, trace minerals and amino acids, Davis said. She sells the popcorn at Whole Foods locations in Michigan, Zerbo’s in Livonia and Sweet Potato Sensations in Detroit.
“They’re a healthier option, but then also you get a great taste,” she said.
Davis said she draws from her background as a chef to develop the flavors for her popcorn. Among her most popular are the Detroit Mix, which incorporates, herbs, spices and a dill pickle flavoring. She also has a new flavor, Chili Cheese.
“It’s basically eating a bowl of chili; you just don’t need a spoon,” she said.
Among the other wares for sale include designer baby clothing and accessories from Dcreated Boutique, handmade wooden frames from the End Grain and vintage men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from Flamingo Vintage.
Vendors with edible items for purchase include premium nuts, dried fruit and snacks from the Detroit City Nut Co., baked goods from Good Cakes & Bakes and gourmet chocolate and truffles from Chocolates by Renee.
The Nosh Pit Detroit offers vegan and vegetarian fare, including a sandwich featuring organic peanut butter and housemade organic banana jam on kosher rye bread. Having a stationary location is a bit different than operating a food truck, said owner Karen Schultz.
“It’s really nice for us because we’re so used to being mobile and having to post updates of here’s where to find us this day, here’s where to find us that day,” she said. “Now we can actually say here’s where to find us for the next two months. It’s going to be nice for us.”
Shoppers can purchase a Christmas tree in Capitol Park. Greystone Gardens offers decorative greenery and several types of fir trees. Prices range from $20 to $100.
Lloyd Michael spent hours setting up the trees for sale, on behalf of his wife, Debbie, the company’s owner. He said 98 percent of their product comes from Michigan.
“We specialize in greenery from all over the country and just Michigan trees,” he said. “We’re big on the Michigan thing.”
Market hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The markets will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Downtown Detroit Markets:
Ash & Erie
Solari & Co.
The Lip Bar
Re-Up Designs Co.
Chocolates by Renee’
The Farmer’s Hand
Madcap Coffee Company
The Detroit Shoppe
Detroit Vintage Collective
Detroit Hustles Harder
Open Me When
The End Grain Wood Working Co.
Somerset Children’s Collection
Somerset Home Collection
Detroit City Nut Company
The Nosh Pit Detroit
Cynt – Sations Popcorn
The Natural Market
ASHE Supply Co.
The Cadillac Lodge
Good Cakes & Bakes
Detroit Marshmallow Co.
New Order Coffee Roaster