Today, several of Michigan’s leading food and beverage experts have partnered with Michelin-starred chefs to create Manchester Markets, a 17,000-square-foot culinary destination in Manchester with multiple retailers under the same roof.
Justin Dalenberg and his business partner, Ken Heers, are overseeing the project, which is located at 455 W. Main St. in Manchester (located southwest of Ann Arbor), which is home to a full-service grocery store, nonprofit farmers’ market, butcher shop, gelateria, coffee shop, wine shop, and beer cave. The new business will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Dalenberg and Heers are purchasing an additional two acres of property behind the market and are working on plans for an additional 26,000 square-foot expansion.
“What began as a search to find larger space for our commercial meat processing, bakery, and commissary operations grew exponentially after we discovered this hidden gem in Manchester,” says Dalenberg. “After the village manager asked us to consider adding a full-service grocery store, since Manchester’s had been shuttered for year, the Market idea blossomed from there.”
The new market will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and is home to:
— Grand River Butchery, which processes and sells fine cuts of locally raised beef, pork, and lamb, and well as grinding and seasoning various sausages, brats, breakfast meats, and kielbasa. The butchery also sells chicken and seafood, including fresh caught fish from the great lakes.
— Grand River Bakery, which uses fresh ingredients to make sourdough breads, Jewish rye, brioche buns, and other artisan breads. Along with the breads, it bakes a host of specialty cakes, brownies, cookies, macarons, pretzels, and more.
— Acorn Farmers’ Market and Café is a local nonprofit that sells farm-fresh produce, dairy, and eggs, returning 75 percent of proceeds to local growers. In addition, it also runs a sit-down café that features sandwiches, soups, meals, and more prepared on site by Grand River Commissary utilizing its fresh produce.
— Super Perky Pantry, which is known for its regional convenience stores, partnered with SpartanNash Co. in Byron Center south of Grand Rapids to return a full-service grocer to the community. Modeled after Forest Hills Foods in Grand Rapids, it will offer a variety of grocery staples, as well as health and beauty products.
— Iorio Gelato, which makes artisan gelato on-site, will offer traditional Italian pistachio, stracciatella, and nocciola alongside innovative flavors such as banana caramel praline and pomegranate champagne sorbetto.
“We’ve gathered an incredible collection of artisans who are passionate about great food and beverages and stellar customer service,” says Dalenberg. “We’re a single source for artisan breads, locally raised meat, fresh produce, locally roasted coffee, prepared meals, handmade gelato – and more. We look forward to welcoming guests from throughout southeast Michigan – and beyond – to Manchester Market.”
Dalenberg has also built a 3,500-square-foot meat processing facility and a 3,500-square-foot commercial bakery on the property. The space will be used to provide custom beef and pork products as well as a host of baked goods for his restaurant ventures, Grand River Brewery, which serves locally sourced food and hand-crafted beer and spirits in Marshall and Jackson, and Doll n’ Burgers fast-casual eateries in Jackson and Tecumseh.
In addition to its retail location in Manchester Merchants, the bakery will serve Dalenberg’s restaurants as well as other retailers and restaurants with custom desserts, breads, cakes, and cookies.
“This facility was originally a grocery store that was shuttered years ago. We decided to locate our commercial operations here — and the idea just grew,” says Dalenberg. “Our vision is to have the coolest most unique little market ever that has the highest-quality food that uses the best ingredients.”
Manchester Market employs approximately 70 people, including 30 workers for Dalenberg and Heers in the butchery, bakery, and commissary.