Uptown Charlotte’s foodie destination is flourishing. The 7th Street Public Market in Uptown Charlotte is one of the worst-kept secrets in the city. What was a little-known, quiet, tucked-away urban market when it opened in 2012 has become one of Charlotte’s most popular and unique gathering spots. It is a place where everyone is welcome and feels right at home.
Stop by on a weekday morning, and you’ll see a mix of people running in to grab a coffee and a muffin alongside others who are plugging in for a meeting or work session. Come during lunch and you’ll see kids exploring new types of old favorites – from a hand-crafted pizza with sprouted ancient grain dough to grilled cheese combinations from the in-house cheesemonger; only the most creative mind could conjure these specialties. As the day turns to evening, visitors stop in to pick up their weekly supplies of meat and wine from the expert butcher and sommelier before meeting a friend at Tank’s Tap for one of 50 different local craft beer options.
Though the 7th Street Public Market has become one of Charlotte’s top destinations for discovering unique local foods and a thriving, diverse community, it still offers a very personal experience. It is set up so that customers have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the 15 business owners housed within the space, each who has a passion for their craft that is hard to miss. Take the time to ask Victoria about her aunt Pia (who her artisanal Italian food business, Zia Pia imports, was named) or to find out the significance of keys for Toni, owner of Small Keys, who moved away from a corporate job to spend more time with her daughter.
For the first time since it opened, the 7th Street Public Market is at full capacity. Fifteen businesses operate seven days a week to bring the best in local and regional food options to customers. As of today, the businesses at the 7th Street Public Market employ more than 90 people and do direct business with more than 50 North Carolina food-related businesses representing 30 counties.
The mission of the 7th Street Public Market, presented by Carolinas Healthcare System, is to celebrate the food culture of the Carolinas and to promote local and regional farms, food artisans and entrepreneurs. Staying true to that mission, the 7th Street Public Market plays a vital role in the community of connecting local food, the diverse culture of our community, education and the importance of healthy living.
The 7th Street Public Market has also become the heartbeat of health and wellness in Charlotte. Each small business is hand-picked because they offer fresh, local food with Carolina flavor to thousands of customers each year. The loyal, long-standing business owners work tirelessly to ensure that customers are more than satisfied when they visit. These entrepreneurs are often complemented by seasonal vendors who bring in food products and produce directly from nearby farms. The result is a holistic experience unique to Charlotte’s Uptown that offers a variety of choices every day of the week and every month of the year.
The health and wellness offerings are not based on just food alone. The 7th Street Public Market has become a healthy destination for visitors, residents and Uptown employees who visit every month, thanks to support from presenting sponsor Carolinas Healthcare System and founding sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. From hosting a Charlotte B-cycle station outside its doors to promote healthy transportation, to offering educational classes, cooking demonstrations, health screenings and special events, the 7th Street Public Market is a vital part of Charlotte’s system of health and wellness.
It is hard to ignore the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and community at the 7th Street Public Market. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why it was featured in the The New York Times' “36 Hours in Charlotte” travel article last fall. Whether it’s for lunch, a unique local gift, or to grab a beer and catch the game with your friends, be sure to stop by soon to experience one of the city’s most unique places. You won’t regret it.
7th Street Public Market Small Businesses:
The Assorted Table
The best selection of fine wines in all price ranges in Charlotte
Bonsai Fusion Sushi
Fresh and delicious sushi, home of the famous “sushi burrito!”
Carolina Chocolate Company
Specializes in chocolate barks, bars, dipped items, truffles and more
Charlotte Tea & Spice Co.
Offers a variety of unique spices, teas, seasonings and more
Cloud 9 Confections
Bakery specializing in cookies, cakes and custom orders Greeneman Farms Sources local North Carolina pickles, relish, jams, jelly, honey and produce
Sources local North Carolina pickles, relish, jams, jelly, honey and produce
Restaurant, patisserie and bakery serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
Not Just Coffee
Craft coffee and tea creations, each brewed with decided precision and care
Orrman’s Cheese Shop
Charlotte’s only cheesemonger featuring more than 60 local cheeses
Pizzas and salads with local, sustainable and organic toppings
All-natural, handmade beauty products with no artificial ingredients
Features more than 50 NC beers and a growler filling station
Cold-pressed unpasteurized raw juices, juice cleanses and raw foods
What’s Your Beef
Butcher shop offering all local, hormone-free meats
Zia Pia Imports
Imported artisanal Italian foods from pastas to oils, chocolate and more
This article ran in the March 2015 issue of Charlotte Happenings.