After several months of anticipation, the brand new Marketplace on Main and 3rd is officially open for business in downtown Williamsburg.
The Marketplace, owned by the University of the Cumberlands, features three individual businesses – Cumberland River Coffee Shop, Moonbow Mercantile General Store and Moonlight Meat Butcher Shop.
Geoff Marietta, Entrepreneur in Residence at U of C, was responsible for helping to recruit the businesses to fill the new Marketplace. He is now very excited to be able to see it open in time for the start of another school year.
“The university purchased this block with the intention of helping the downtown revitalization efforts that have been ongoing in recent year,” Marietta said. “We created 3-4 retail spaces to give back to this community, and also to provide students with some places to go off-campus.”
Speaking about each of the individual businesses, Marietta said, “You have Moonbow Mercantile, which is a general store selling things like ice cream, candy, toys, and several items from local artists and crafters. You also have Cumberland River Coffee, which offers not only hot and cold coffee drinks, but also pastries, smoothies, shakes and more. And finally, Moonlight Meat Processing, which has operated in Williamsburg for the past several years, will soon be opening up their brand new butcher shop at some point in the coming days.”
Marietta said an additional space has also been set aside for what he called a “business incubator lab.” The concept here is to offer an Internet workspace for anyone wanting to start a new business.
“It will be a place where entrepreneurs can come to receive advice on effective strategies for launching, and growing, a small business,” Marietta explained.
Marietta said the opening of the Marketplace is the culmination of much hard work, and the realization of a vision shared by many in the Williamsburg community. “It’s inspirational,” he said. “The spaces are absolutely beautiful, and I’m blown away with how it’s all turned out. It was a complete team effort between the university, the contractors, local government and the entrepreneurs themselves.”
“The university has made a tremendous investment, and they did it the right way by recruiting local entrepreneurs to fill those spaces. By doing so, they are partnering with this community.”
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said of the Marketplace’s opening, “It is very exciting. The anticipation has been growing for some time, and it is definitely a breath of fresh air after all that we have been dealing with lately. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”
On the downtown revitalization efforts that have been ongoing in recent years, Harrison said, “This has been a long time coming. We’ve been working on revitalization for years. I have always known our potential, though. We have a beautiful downtown area, and we’re not done yet. It is a great time to be in Williamsburg.”
For more information on the Marketplace on Main and 3rd, look them up on their official Facebook page (@marketplace.main3rd).