The Market at Liberty Place
By Kerigan Butt
The Market at Liberty Place is a shopping and dining destination where Kennett Square residents and visitors can buy fresh prepared foods, meats, dairy products and produce or meet friends for lunch or coffee.
By Steven Hoffman
During one week in October, the Market at Liberty Place sponsored a pumpkin-carving contest, hosted a performance by R & B, rock, and soulful blues performer Jason Ager, and one of the market’s vendors, Paradocx Vineyard donated $1 to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition for each bottle of wine sold. Nourish Juice Bar and Café brought in Fran Constigan, an internationally known chef, for a book-signing and organized a fundraiser to support land conservation in Chester County. A new vendor, Terra Foods, debuted, and the market earned its 1,000th fan on Facebook. That was all in one week.
To say that there has been a lot of activity at the Market at Liberty Place since it officially debuted on July 12 would be an understatement.
When Larry and Geoff Bosley of LGB Properties originally envisioned the Market at Liberty Place, they knew that they wanted the 10,000 square-foot-space at 148 West State Street to be much more than an indoor market. They wanted to create a shopping and dining destination where Kennett Square residents and visitors could buy fresh prepared foods, meats, and produce or meet friends for lunch or coffee. They wanted this market to be a community gathering place.
Geoff Bosley, who serves as the vice president of LGB Properties, said that one comment that he has heard regularly when people see the Market at Liberty Place for the first time is that it fits Kennett Square’s style—it is simultaneously cool and classy.
“It fits the style of Kennett Square,” he said. “That’s really the highest compliment for us—when people say that it fits Kennett Square. We wanted this to be something that Kennett Square can be proud of. It’s a warm, welcoming place where people want to be.”
Not every grand opening is grand, but the debut of the Market at Liberty Place lived up to the billing as friends shared laughs as they sampled locally produced wines of Paradocx Vineyards. Others sipped One Village Coffee at Nourish. Hungry patrons enjoyed pizza and pasta at the State Street Pizza & Grill or authentic Philadelphia-style cheesesteaks at Rick’s Steaks.
It took LGB Properties almost a full year to line up the vendors before they opened the market.
“We hand-picked the vendors,” said Larry Bosley. “Every vendor is unique for this building.” He said that he’s most proud of the fact that this project helped bring something different to town and will create new jobs in Kennett Square.
“We’re proud of the fact that we took a building which was sitting dark and when we’re done there will be 100 employees here. This is the most challenging thing that we’ve done. I’m proud of the fact that we created a gathering place for Kennett Square.”
Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello was at the grand opening and, as he surveyed the offerings, he said he had a hard time selecting a vendor that might be his favorite. With everything from Italian food to seafood to wine to frozen yogurt to choose from, the market has something for everyone.
“It’s very impressive,” Costello said. “It’s a good community concept. Kennett Square is so vibrant.”
David Williams, a Kennett Square resident, stopped by George & Sons Seafood Market to check out the selection of fresh fish. After one visit, he was already a fan of the market.
“It’s terrific,” he said. “I like the openness in here. There’s a lot of variety and it doesn’t duplicate anything else in town.”
Kennett Square mayor Matt Fetick talked about the commitment that LGB Properties showed to the town by extensively renovating a property into something modern and unique.
“When people invest in our town like they have,” Fetick said, “it makes it better for everyone.”
“We’re so excited to have this in Kennett Square,” said Ginger Meadows, the president of the board of directors of Historic Kennett Square.
Historic Kennett Square executive director Mary Hutchins recalled touring a market similar to this one in Ardmore early in 2012 when the Bosleys were considering options for the building. They all believed after that visit that the concept would be a good fit for Kennett Square.
“It was great and we thought it would work really well in Kennett Square,” Hutchins said. “I knew that Larry and Geoff wanted to find a new purpose for this building and we thought it was a good fit. It is their dream, their hard work, and their funding that made this possible. It’s really fabulous. It’s something a little different and it’s one more thing that sets Kennett Square apart.”
There is a good mix of vendors at the market, including several that have had successes elsewhere.
George & Sons Seafood has been successful in the seafood business for more than 26 years in nearby Hockessin, Del. Wild-caught and all-naturally farmed fish and shellfish, homemade seafood soups, crab cakes, freshly prepared sushi, and other prepared seafood dishes are among the offerings.
George Esterling III is joined in the family business by his sons, George Esterling IV and Tyler Esterling.
The younger George said that they make a trip to the fish market every day to ensure that they have the freshest fish possible.
“It keeps the quality of the products high,” he said. “We're a family-owned business and that's important to us. My dad's been doing this since he was my age.”
Some of the more popular items at the Kennett location include salmon, oysters, tuna, and striped bass.
George Esterling IV said because they go to the market every day, they can get in any kind of seafood that a customer wants with 24 hours' notice. He added that the seafood market is coming along nicely as they expand their offerings for the Kennett Square community.
“We love the area. It's an evolving area and we're excited to be here,” he said.
The State Street Pizza & Grill is a one-stop shop for pizza and classic Italian favorites. Locally owned and operated, the State Street Pizza and Grill is the latest venture for James Miller, who also owns Orion’s Pizzeria and Poolside Deli.
Nourish offers the Kennett Square community healthy, local, and organic options. The menu includes One Village Coffee, freshly pressed juices, Acai bowls, wheatgrass, and more. The business is owned by Francie Covelli, a local resident and former Delaware restaurateur, nutritionist, and educator.
Rick’s Steaks is the first location outside of Philadelphia for Rick Olivieri, the grandson of Pat Olivieri, who is known as the creator of authentic Philly Cheesestaeks. Rick Olivieri grew up in the family business and has had previous locations in the Reading Terminal Market and Citizens Bank Park. Rick’s Steaks are sold at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Yo’R So Sweet will offer fresh crepes and other French favorites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert, as well as smoothies, frozen yogurt, and specials throughout the week.
Southern Chester County’s own Paradocx Vineyard, a family-owned and operated business, will be offering its wine made from homegrown grapes. The wine can be paired with Farm Fromage cheese, Rip Rap crackers, and locally produced Neuchatel chocolates.
“We are excited to be part of the Market at Liberty Place,” said Caryn L. Dolan, manager of public relations and private events for Paradocx Vineyard. “Here customers can come and enjoy Paradocx Vineyard wines available by the flight, bottle and our unique paint cans. Borderland Vineyard wines are available, as is Jack's hard Cider by Hauser Estate Winery. There is live music every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. During happy hour, selected wines and cider by the glass are $2 off.”
The Kennett Arts Alliance will use its space at the market at Liberty Place to rotate artwork for sale by many local artists. There will be sculptures, paintings, drawings, metals, and much more. The Kennett Square Arts Alliance will also host interactive demonstrations and workshops for the community, adding another element to the market.
With the anticipated arrival of two new vendors, Terra Foods and Punk’d Pineapple, there will be nine vendors in the market. There is room for between 11 and 15 vendors total.
Terra Foods offers fresh local produce, dairy products, and other fine foods. Terra Foods’ line of products will eventually include jams and spreads, chocolates, baked goods, flowers, greeting cards, and more.
George Esterling IV said that the addition of Terra Foods complements the fresh seafood business because customers will be able to shop for fresh seafood, produce and bread as well as local dairy products and more.
Punk’d Pineapple is the first soft ice cream vendor in downtown Kennett Square. Punk’d Pineapple will feature traditional flavors as well as Pineapple Whip, which is currently featured at amusement parks like Disney World and Six Flags. Punk’d Pineapple will serve products that are dairy-free, gluten-free, and fat-free as well.
Geoff Bosley said that the lineup of vendors is very diverse.
“We wanted to take our time and do this right,” Bosley explained. “We wanted to have really good vendors and that’s what we have.”
As the holiday season approaches, Bosley said that they are pleased with the progress that the Market at Liberty Place has made in its first four months.
“Things are coming along nicely,” he said. “It seems like new faces are stopping in every week. We set out to create a gathering place for the community and we are seeing that. Not only are people meeting for lunch, dinner, drinks, and coffee, but meetings are being held here. We've had requests for birthday parties, The Kennett Run awards dinner, even wedding rehearsal dinners. We're actually creating a room on the floor below the Market that will be available for events such as these as well. We will also be having some events in time for the holidays.”
The Market at Liberty Place is open seven days a week. For more information about the offerings at the market, visit www.themarketatlibertyplace.com or “like” the market on Facebook. LGB Properties can be contacted at 610-925-3411.To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email email@example.com.
148 West State Street
The opening of the Market at Liberty Place completes the latest transformation of a building that has a long history in Kennett Square. It was built in the years following World War II. At the time, steel was scarce and ships that were used during the war were being taken apart and the materials were being repurposed. Steel from the liberty ships was used to construct the building at 148 West State Street, and it became the longtime home to Alvin’s Furniture Store. In the early 1980s, the building was turned into the corporate home of Genesis Health Ventures. After Kennett Square’s largest employer expanded to a new headquarters in town, the building was under-utilized until LGB Properties purchased it in 2010. Geoff Bosley said that they selected the “Market at Liberty Place” name as a nod to the liberty ships.