|Name The Historic Viroqua Public Market
Business Type Marketplace, local artists, and retail
Location Viroqua, Wisconsin
Owner/Manager The Macasat Family
Year Opened 2004
Products Sold & Niche Developed
The Historic Viroqua Market opened in 2004 with the intention to provide locals with the opportunity to sell their goods. Today, the market offers retail space beyond the city limits and is a large gathering space within the tri-state area.
How it got started
An old Peterson Motors building came up for sale and owner Tony Macasat saw the potential to invest in it and turn it into something the community could use. The Macasat family ended up purchasing the building shortly after. Originally the business started out by holding festivals because they did not have enough vendors when it originally opened. It evolved over time to host permanent vendors and their booths.
Who it serves
Viroqua Public Market originally served local residents. Today the word has spread over the past 12 years and the market serves the tri-state area.
The old building was covered in soot from years of being a mechanic repair shop. The owners had to spend a great deal of time cleaning the floors and rafters before adding a structure inside the large building.
The old auto garage was very large, so the owners created three separate storefronts. They added walls inside the building to create different sections and also added four mini suites. The mini suites act as stores, which have held numerous types of businesses.
The project was self-funded by the Macasat family and through loans.
Reviewed by Emily Lutz, UW-Extension CCED