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New Around the Woo: Worcester Public Market



Located at Kelley Square in Worcester, Worcester Public Market is the city’s incredible new spot for local farms, restaurants, food-related businesses and entrepreneurs to collaborate. These venues will also provide the Worcester community with a fantastic cultural experience around local food and products!

“The market is a collection of very eclectic and ethnically diverse food purveyors,” says Domenic Mercurio, Executive Director for the Worcester Public Market. “It’s a culture down here. The market is revitalizing and adding to the uniqueness of the Canal District.”

The vision for Worcester Public Market began in 2014 when Allen Fletcher, a retired business owner and publisher, as well as a past president of the Canal District Alliance and local resident, purchased a plot of land and began envisioning the new market. Fletcher saw an opportunity for what he felt Worcester truly needed – a place for local farmers and entrepreneurs to bring incredible food and products to the community. The planning process began in 2015 as Fletcher collaborated with experts in marketplace development. After additional research and hard work, flash forward to February 6, 2020, the Worcester Public Market officially opened its doors.

“I’ve known Allen for 20 plus years,” Mercurio says. “I thought I was a patriot for Worcester, but Allen is a true, top level patriot for Worcester. He’s been all over the world. He goes and walks the regular walk and finds his way around, digs through cultural aspects, finds out what its really about and comes back and tries to bring the world to Worcester. He’s been trying to put this market together for a long time. He called me to help, and I understood his vision. I knew we had to go for uniqueness. We couldn’t put in big brands – that’s not what it’s about. It’s about local, nonprofit, locally sourced food coming from local farms, vendors from this area.”

The market, which holds around 400 people, has about 28 vendors, with offerings from all over the world. “I love that you can come and get real authentic Mexican food from people from Mexico, Japanese from people from Japan, real authentic Jamaican from people from Jamaica, completely authentic Vietnamese food, etc.” Mercurio says. “These are real McCoys. They are indigenous. They know their food and recipes. They brought food and cultures from their countries,” he adds.

The real food also brings a real sense of culture to the market and to the Worcester community. “We have people from Ireland selling Irish wool and trinkets,” Mercurio says. “Legacy Deli where you can get delicious deli food pays homage to the old Worcester delis from the area. We have burgers named after the Seven Hills in Worcester. We have an oyster bar like the kind you’d find in Boston. We have a truly vegan bakery. It’s a strong culture in the atmosphere here from Worcester and beyond.”

The market also showcases Wachusett Brewing Company. “The Wachusett tap room is amazing,” Mercurio says. “The synergy between that and the food hall part – it fits like hand and glove,” he adds.

Additionally, the market offers products like custom handmade floral arrangements and botanically themed products, handbags perfumes, soaps, jewelry and more from The Wildflower Truck. Creative Cakes by Colleen offers high quality lollipop cakes while amazingly unique finds will be offered at The Market Pantry.  “The Market Pantry pulls in product lines from around 100 vendors and we will rotate it over the year,” Mercurio says. It offers a different selection of rosemary lavender face creams, pet treats, olive oils, syrups, cutting boards, herbs and spices.

Bringing unique, authentic products and food to the market and to the Worcester community was so important for Fletcher and his team for many reasons. Mostly, because authenticity is hard to come by nowadays.

“The perception becomes the reality,” Mercurio says. “You walk to the North End in Boston, and it used to be that chefs were Italian, from Italy, but now they that’s not always the case. The food is pretty good, but the folks aren’t from the countries anymore.” The Worcester Public Market team wanted to ensure that anything the market was offering was going to be of the highest quality so that the people of Worcester could experience something truly special. The pricing for products and food varies by vendor, but there’s no question that the quality and experience at the market is worth every penny.

Think the Worcester Public Market couldn’t offer anything more? Think again. The market team plans on expanding their live music and bringing even more to the space. “We plan on having live music during the week and some stuff themed for families like balloon sculptures and a professional magician in the summer,” Mercurio says. “Once summer comes, we are planning to have some outdoor entertainment on plaza along with a farmers market,” he adds.

The market team is beyond thrilled with the success of the market thus far. They are overjoyed with the response from the community. “This place is balanced on what I think is a very pivotal time in Worcester’s future,” Mercurio says. “We are proving that Worcester can be a cultural city, every bit as popular and well attended as Boston. This building defines the neighborhood as a cultural and food destination. We are in a launch stage right now, but we are confident that this place is going to accelerate Worcester’s reputation and identify it as a destination city.”

Due to the current public health crisis, the Worcester Public Market has temporarily closed to promote social distancing. The store hopes to reopen on April 6th. Please visit for more information and updated hours. The vendors at the Worcester Public Market appreciate the public’s understanding and are excited to provide the community with the freshest foods and one of a kind finds once they reopen.

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