Friday Night Market hits Dewey Street

The Local Store presents an outdoor and indoor market through October


Photo by Andee Erickson

Local Store sales associate, Jaden Devine greets customers while managing the outdoor sales table at the Night Market.

Friday night life in Eau Claire now includes street vendors, live music, food and a community bonfire at The Local Store through the month of October.

From 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday this month, the Local Store is introducing a new event: the Night Market. Each week, the store brings in different local creators and their products, musicians and food trucks from around the area to participate.

Lindsey Quinnies, program manager for the store, said the ideas for the event came from the entire store staff after deciding they wanted to host an autumn event.

“There’s less activity right after summer and before the holidays so we were trying to think of something we could do in the middle of that,” Quinnies said.

When the store began reaching out to potential vendors Quinnies said they got positive feedback from them, especially since all the makers already sell at the store.

An event open to all ages, children cradled apple cider filled cups and nibbled snack samples while listening to the first night’s musician Brian Bethke, folk rocker from Wisconsin, with their parents.

“Seeing all these kids reminds me of when my kids were that little,” Bethke said.

Upcoming musicians are Elvessa, D. Janakey, Lauren Anderson and Sean Jones.

The scent of the nearby bonfire wafted through the store door to where local vendors stood near their stands and chatted with customers.

Tim Brudnicki stood at a table selling his smaller woodwork creations from his business, Eau Claire Woodworks. Brudnicki said he specifically likes selling through the Local Store.

“I sell a lot of things around the Midwest and around the country,” Brudnicki said. “But there’s nothing that gives me more satisfaction than my commerce in my town, where I live and where my kids go to school.”

Kaiserson Honey, another indoor vendor was selling honey made by Ellen Sorenson and Drew Kaiser’s bees.

Martha Woodworth of Woodworth’s Fine Toffee dished out her toffee samples and Melissa Todd of Wool n’ Feather Farm sold bags made from the wool of her family’s sheep.

Every week apples and pumpkins will be sold from Autumn Harvest Winery & Orchard or Niblett’s Apple Shed.

The food truck will alternate between Davies Dogs, Fire Truck Pizza and What’s Cookin’ Mobile Food Truck.

Jaden Devine, sales associate for the store, managed outdoor tables of the Local Store merchandise and said her favorite thing about the market is the variety of attractions it incorporates.

“Not everybody loves to shop. It’s not just a store sale, it’s also the music,” Devine said.

Kathy Ripienski attended the market with her husband and child. Ripienski said the hotdogs and bonfire brought her family to the event.

Other attendees Libby Stupak and Renee Fontaine-Ebel said the food, music and vendors drew them to the event.

Fontaine-Ebel said she also wanted to pick out gifts at the discounted price the store offers during the Night Market.

Community members continued to arrive in more frequency as the sun snuck out of sight and the Night Market had only just began.