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West Side Market sees boost in holiday shopping

West Side Market during holidays
Posted at 4:44 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 18:44:39-05

CLEVELAND — Like so many businesses in Cleveland, the West Side Market saw a slow down because of the pandemic.

But the holiday season means people are going back out to shop and support local.

On the penultimate day of shopping before Christmas, the sound of shopping echoed through the tiled roof of the market.

The busy aisles were a good sign for vendors.

Customers lined up in front of D.W. Whitaker's three booths to order prime cuts before the holiday.

"As far as the staples, the everyday food, we've been doing well," Don Whitaker said.

The prepared food vendors and the restaurants are struggling.

The pandemic forced people to stay in. Because of that, foot traffic at the market dropped during the first half of the year.

But shop local supporters kept coming

"I felt like there is very high quality in the market here," said Gigi Gerstenberger.

She was able to pick up her entire list at the market.

"Today we have some bison, gyro, some fresh bread some German Christollen, fruits, and vegetables," she said standing outside the market holding several bags. "We hope the stimulus helps them and the community comes out when they are able."

Gerstenberger wasn't the person who stopped by the market when they needed something special for the holiday.

Jottie Allison and her dad, Charles Williams, made a quick stop on Wednesday afternoon.

"We had it on our minds that we had to come down here to get oxtails. That's what we were looking for everywhere," she said.

There are more than 80 vendors inside the Cleveland landmark that are looking at shoppers like Gigi and Charles and Jottie to help them kick off the new year.

"It's going to help us get into January because January is always a struggle," Whitaker said.

Thursday, Dec. 24, is the last day to shop before the holiday. The vendors close at 2 p.m.