Members of the press and local officials were recently treated to a sneak preview of the enticing products at the new Mill Market in the historic Hawley Silk Mill during Media Day. Defining the focus of the new market is an emphasis on high quality foods and goods primarily from within a 200-mile radius of the Lake Wallenpaupack region.
Mill Market officially will launch with a grand opening on June 30, featuring special tastings, meet-the-farmer opportunities, music, an open mic at the adjacent “Harmony Presents” and family fun. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Route 6 location in Hawley.
The market’s mission is to enable shoppers to learn about and to purchase a diverse selection of local foods, bath and body products, cleaning supplies and more, providing regional purveyors with a convenient outlet through which to sell their products. “Mill Market will move local products from source to consumer in support of a sustainable local economy,” said proprietor Justin Genzlinger.
Manager John Huddleston and other knowledgeable staff are
prepared to explain the economic, environmental and health benefits of local food and will organize an ongoing series of tastings, demos, workshops and lectures to help educate customers.
A Monroe County native, Huddleston brings an extensive background in the natural foods industry to his new post. Most recently, he served as general manager of the Texas-based Natural Grocers. “I’m delighted to be back home, working on such an exciting project that supports the people and the economy of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Upper Delaware region,” he said.
During Media Day, Mill Market purveyor Mary Tellie, of Electric City Roasting Company, discussed aspects of her Scranton-based business. Tellie travels to the coffee farms, where she sources her beans and works with farmers to create coffees that support sustainability and a chain of traceability. She responded to questions about fair trade, organics and shade-grown coffee in the type of interchange Mill Market wants to promote.
Attendees also got a glimpse of the products the market will carry during a tour led by assistant manager Chamonix Anke. Maple, dairy, meat and bakery products from Pennsylvania and New York providers were displayed, along with handcrafted lotions, candles and more. Samples of locally sourced prepared foods were offered by chef Jutta Ames, who brings 28 years experience to Cocoon Catering Company, which will provide ready-to-serve and advance-order foods to Mill Market.
Mill Market Board of Directors chair Grant Genzlinger is executive chef and co-owner of The Settlers Inn, Ledges Hotel and Glass Wine Bar, and Cocoon Coffee House in Hawley. The Genzlingers have strong family ties to the Lake Region. Justin is a managing partner in Ledges Hotel, the Hawley Medical Center and the renovated Silk Mill—a historic native bluestone structure built in 1880. The family hopes Mill Market will further establish the Silk Mill as a vibrant lifestyle center of commerce and community by expanding the demand for local food and goods.
“It’s been our concept to bring a food market to the area that compliments our local grocery and highlights our direct source farmers, value-added food makers, bakers, restaurateurs and caterers,” said Justin. “Mill Market will feature the high quality food that’s made or grown in our area and provide a retail outlet that completes the chain from source to consumer. It’s a mission we’ve been focused on for years in our restaurants.”
Bruce Mackle, w
ho attended the event on behalf of PA Senator Lisa Baker, said he was honored to help launch a market that will become a hometown favorite and hotspot for out-of-town visitors. “The Lake Wallenpaupack region is rich with great food, superior craftsmanship, American history and talented people,” he said. “Mill Market demonstrates that home is not only where the heart is; home is where the world’s best products and services are produced— and some of the world’s best people.” Maura Rottmund of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce presented the new business with a plaque and with wishes for great success.