NewBo City Market is a fresh start for neighborhood - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

NewBo City Market is a fresh start for neighborhood

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A Cedar Rapids neighborhood ravaged by the floods of 2008 is now home to a busy new marketplace. The "NewBo City Market" opened its doors Saturday. The market directors, vendors, and visitors consider this part of a new future for the New Bohemia district.

Hundreds of people filled the indoor market Saturday morning, and vendors were doing all they could to keep up with demand.

"It's a crazy crowd! It's humongous," said 10 year-old Carter Rieckhoff.

Rieckhoff was selling popcorn from CR Popcorn Shop as fast as he could make it -- and he considers himself an expert.

"Well popcorn is my favorite thing to eat since I could eat it!" he said.

A few feet away, his older sister Sydney is keeping busy scooping ice cream. With the opening of "NewBo City Market", both kids are now small business owners.

"My grandparents own a hotel and restaurant, my parents own a lot of different businesses. So it's just fun for everybody and it's something that we can all do together," said the 14 year-old.

The Rieckhoff family members are among two dozen local vendors setting up shop in the market. Built on a flooded-out industrial lot, the "NewBo City Market" is part of the rebirth of the New Bohemia district - just a few blocks from downtown along the Cedar River.

"It's really a model for the rest of the city of what can be done and how rebuilding works," said President of the NewBo City Market Board of Directors Patrick DePalma.

DePalma said, growing small businesses like the Rieckhoff's is part of their intent with the market.

"Somebody with an idea or a farm or a product can come in for a little bit of money and set up a story and be successful. And keep the money in the community," said DePalma.

The market is also a way to make fresh, local ingredients easily available.

"It's a connection. When people shop here they'll get to know the producers, they'll get to value them, they'll get to know their stories. And it's a wonderful community building effort," said Tom Vilsack, US Secretary of Agriculture.

DePalma hopes it will turn into a neighborhood entertainment hub as well.

"There's always going to be great food, but there will also be concerts, car shows, and antique fairs," he said.

It's a long way to have come in just four years, and it's clear from the size of this crowd -- this community is ready for a fresh start.

"It's great to see it up and going and getting more people down here again," Sydney Rieckhoff added.

The "NewBo City Market" celebration continues Sunday with "Kids' Day at the Market." Starting this week, the market will begin its regular hours -- Thursday night from 4:00-8:00, Saturday 8:00-8:00, and Sunday 10:00-6:00.

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