Hawley Silk Mill’s New Mill Market: A local treasure
Located in the Hawley Silk Mill on Silk Mill Drive in Hawley, PA, the newly opened Mill Market features locally produced food and goods made within 200 miles of the Lake Wallenpaupack region of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. The market, which opened its doors in June of 2012, also carries a selection of fine specialty products not available locally.
Silk Mill history
Mill Market is situated on the first floor of the recently renovated Hawley Silk Mill building, which features boutique retail spaces with glass storefronts and unique tilt-up doors, as well as classrooms for Lackawanna College and other offices. The entire space is designed to have a contemporary industrial feel to it while keeping historic elements of the building intact. Architect Peter Bohlin, who designed Manhattan’s 5th Avenue Apple Store, designed the retail space, creating an upscale look for the historic building—maintaining key features and integrating modern elements into the three-story structure originally known as the Bellemonte Silk Mill.
The imposing native bluestone building is fascinating in its origins, full of adventure tales to the orient to import the silk worm caterpillars that wove the silky threads on the grounds. Built in 1880, the silk mill was a fixture in the Hawley community for generations from both an economic and historic perspective, employing up to 363 people at its peak. As the demand for domestic textiles faded, the mill became vacant in 1986 for the first time in its history. In 1990, the mill became the home of Castle Antiques and Reproductions, an antique retail and wholesale operation, until the business was liquidated, leaving the building vacant again. Now owned by the Hawley Silk Mill, LLC, an investment group of local people including the Genzlinger family, the building is a vibrant center of local commerce.
(For more about the history of the Silk Mill, visit www.hawleysilkmill.com.)
After a tour with Mill Market’s manager Chamonix Anke, I sat down with proprietor Justin Genzlinger to talk about this unique concept in food retailing. Genzlinger, no stranger to the food and hospitality business—his parents own the renowned Settlers Inn in Hawley—grew up around fine food and service. After graduating from Lehigh University, he moved to Washington, DC to work in corporate finance, returning home to Hawley in 2009 to manage the newly renovated Silk Mill.