The Tasting Table of Chicago held its first ever Open Market last weekend, December 6th and 7th. The market featured local food artisans and restaurants. Vendors provided samples of products they brought for sale. Visitors were given the option of a variety of culinary delights that included fruit curds and preserves from The Scrumptious Pantry, house milled flour and pasta from Nellcôte, and food focused stationary and gift items from Nourishing Notes.
More local favorites like Belly Shack and Do-Rite Donuts were also present for attendees to enjoy what they do best at the event. Not many could say ‘no’ to an oh -so-yummy Belly Dog from Belly Shack or a buttermilk old fashioned donut from Do-Rite Donuts.
Miss A attended the second day of the event, which occurred during the afternoon from noon to 4:00 p.m. Participating vendors from the first evening were there in addition to many more. On hand Saturday was Wisconsin based bitters company, Bittercube. Daniel Beres, an emissary for the company, said that Bittercube has done events like the Open Market in the past. For Open Market attendees, they sampled their collection of bitters using dropper bottles. Bittercube showcased its selection of slow-crafted bitters, like the Orange and Cherry Bark Vanilla flavors. Bittercube got involved with the event because they have previously worked with Heather Sperling, the Chicago editor of Tasting Table.
Beres said, “She contacted us and asked if we wanted to do the event so we took her up on it. It has been great, very busy and a lot of positive feedback.”
Bittercube’s bitters are made in Madison, Wisc. Going strong for several years, their bitters can be used for cocktails, sodas, baking, cooking, and marinades.
“We distributed nationwide and Canada, and we’ve been at it for about four years now. [Bittercube owners, Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz] started making as small as a gallon or five gallons to now making 250 gallon batches at a time. I’ve only been with them now for a little over a year, but it has been exponential since I’ve been here.”
Nourishing Notes was not the only non-restaurant at the event. Also on hand was Andersonville neighborhood vintage store found. vintage living, which specializes in furniture and accessories. The store also specializes in barware, which is what co-owner Brian Mattes said is a big reason why found. was asked to be a part of the show –barware was a perfect balance to the culinary packed event. Mattes also found the event to be a success for exposure to the business, and was even amazed at the number of people who came out for the inaugural year of Open Market.
“People have been receptive to our barware, and I think I’ve sent a lot of people to our shop,” said Mattes. He added, “I’m very surprised. For a first year event, they have had a great turn out. I like how our products complement the other products.”
The Open Market was held in downtown Chicago on the top floor of shopping center Block 37 on State Street. It was a perfect event for vendors to spread the word out about their business, and also for attendees to buy gifts for others during the holiday season, or even treat themselves to a little something. Chicago will be looking out for sure of what’s to come in year two from the Tasting Table Open Market!