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Customers are getting a unique shopping experience in Boardman with the opening of a new marketplace.
The old Aldi’s and CVS stores on South Avenue have been renovated into what feels like an open air market under a roof. It’s called Valley Marketplace and highlights locally baked breads, fresh fruits and produce, pastries, food stands, gifts, and other treats.
“We have a full-fledged Amish restaurant, “said Ron Cohen, co-owner of the Valley Marketplace. “We have fruit and produce, a lot of locally grown products.”
Cohen and his wife Marianne Cohen wanted to bring something different to Youngstown, modeling the Youngstown market after one his grandfather started in the Philadelphia area in 1931. Planning for the market started about two years ago when Cohen started recruiting merchants.
“I went to Middlefield and basically parked by a car and started knocking on doors,” said Cohen.
Of the tenants at the marketplace, 29 out of the 30 tenants are Amish and produce their goods in-house. In fact, the Amish helped renovate the building, putting their own personal touches on woodwork.
“They put in their own workmanship, a lot of wood,” said Cohen. “Really neat looking stands and everyone is slightly different.”
The market opened last week and is only open Thursday through Saturday but already has regular customers who come to the market on a weekly basis.
“It’s contagious, it’s infectious,” said Marianne Cohen. “It’s just you walk around the people are smiling.”