DUNDALK — There might not be a crisp yet in the air, but at Center Place in Dundalk’s historic downtown on Saturday, there were people and tents ready for the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation’s Maker’s Market.
Maker’s Market is an semi-annual event the urban revitalization non-profit hosts with the intention to bring traffic and spur economic activity in historic Dundalk, while maintaining awareness of the businesses that line the street, according to Nick Staigerwald, the newly minted Business Development Manager for the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation. Staigerwald has recently risen to the post after the departure of beloved Chris Pineda, who now heads up the Bel Air Downtown Alliance.
More Baltimore County businesses than ever before attended this month’s Maker’s Market.
“There are a lot of people who, even today, I’ve talked with who didn’t know that we had Dude’s Snack Shack on the corner, or weren’t aware that it opened,” Staigerwald said. “(People) don’t know of the businesses we have here, so Maker’s Market is a way to bring vendors and some of their following down here to the shopping center who maybe don’t live in this area.”
For those who might not know, the historic Dundalk Eagle building is also on N. Center Place.
Dude’s Snack Attack opened last year, and will celebrate its one-year anniversary this December. It is one of several businesses that have opened in the historic downtown area in recent years.
In part as a result of Dundalk Renaissance Corporation’s “Project Pop-Up,” five shops have opened in the Historic Dundalk Town Center.
The first business that was born from Project Pop-Up is Little Crystal Bijoux, a business that sells jewelry, art and accessories. It is owned and operated by civic advocate and artist Laura Quintana.
“We started out next to Fire House Pizza,” Quintana said. “(Dundalk Renaissance Corp.) negotiated that Blue Ocean (Realty) give us free rent for three months in exchange for some minor renovations and repairs to the building.”
Quintana said that Dundalk Renaissance put her in contact with the Baltimore County Small Business Resource Center, who helped her develop a business plan. Her business moved to a new location, which is now the location of Zallies Boutique, another shop located in the Historic Dundalk Town Center, she said.
Little Crystal Bijoux moved into its current location in 2016. Quintana said that the building became available for sale, and business was going well, so the purchase was made.
Several businesses line both sides of the Maker’s Market event. Some of those businesses were from eastern Baltimore County, while others were from other areas in the county and state.
Dundalk Renaissance Corporation’s next event is the Family Fall Festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Veterans Park. It will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature family fun and autumnal activities until 2 p.m. Vendors and food trucks will be on site.
Scheduled activities include two costume contests – one for children and one for dogs. Trick-or-treating is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.