Northern Kentucky's Friendly Market grand opening pushed back to September
Weather delayed market's indoor/outdoor openings
Jessica Noll, WCPO Digital
12:20 PM, Jul 22, 2013
2:42 PM, Aug 6, 2013
FLORENCE, Ky - A soggy spring, construction delays and a zoning glitch have again pushed back the opening of the much-anticipated Northern Kentucky market inspired by Cincinnati's historic Findlay Market.
The indoor portion of Friendly Market, at 10050 Norbotten Dr., in Florence, was due to open this week, but is now slated to have a grand opening the first week in September, said owner Jack Berberich. The market's open-air vendors have been selling their products since June.
At a cost of $1 million, Berberich hopes first year revenues will be between $2 million to $3 million and will add 25 to 30 jobs to the region.
The former tobacco farmer and resident of Taylor Mill, Berberich concocted his idea to bring a Kentucky-centric farmer’s market to Northern Kentucky nearly four years ago.
Weather Is Culprit
But an unseasonably wet spring complicated construction and delayed crops, he said.
“We could have opened in May, but the farmers wouldn’t have had anything to sell,” he said about the first delay in opening the outdoor farmer’s market pavilion.
The indoor market, inspired by Cincinnati’s Findlay Market, was set to open July 22, but construction and zoning delays has pushed the date back to the first week in September.
“It’s been horrible construction weather,” he said.
Berberich said the overly wet spring and summer has increased time paving the parking lot, digging footers and getting the infrastructure of the 10,000-square-foot building completed. The market is just off of Sam Neace Drive.
The indoor market plans a soft opening the week of Aug. 6. But not all vendors will be open for business then either, due to some manufacturing delays, he said.
The need to special order some equipment also delayed the initial opening.
“In this economy, some manufacturers don’t maintain their inventory,” said Berberich.
A zoning glitch also pushed back the opening of the three-acre market. The market is a zone C4 for commercial; but they needed a modification for outdoor farmers market, he said.
The indoor market will include many local farmers and businesses: