After a slump in business due to construction, the Phoenix Public Market revamped its hours to include Mondays, starting this week.
“We are making some positive changes,” supervisor Kara Johnson said. “Now that (the construction) is over, we are trying to make a comeback.”
Johnson said business began to drop off near the end of July but picked up immediately after construction stopped and the streets were open.
The decision, which was in the works for about a month, was to open three hours later Tuesday through Friday to allow for another day of business on Monday.
The store now opens at 10 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. on weekdays, allowing the business to focus more on the profitable lunch and dinner meals, though the store will continue to open at 7 a.m. on Saturdays.
Sandwiches and rotating soup selections based on seasonal produce are among the most popular items.
“We are testing things out; evolving and adapting to market forces,” employee Keith Mulvin said.
Being a small, local shop, the market can respond quickly to changes not only in hours of operation but also with products. Mulvin says the store can get in special items within a week.
For the Monday morning event, visitors were given a free fresca — a freshly squeezed orange and carrot juice drink.
A strong flow of new customers visited the store Monday.
“It seems like there are a lot of things closed around Phoenix on Mondays,” first-time visitor Bill Eckardy said. “I find that a little irritating.”
Eckardy sat down for a beet salad and a beer from a local brewery and said he had read about the market and decided to visit.
Patrons sprinkled in throughout the day, and the market had reached its sales goal well before closing, according to Johnson.
The Phoenix Public Market hopes to be open seven days a week within the next couple years.
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