SCRANTON -- With live music, free samples, and happy conversations between purchases, the new public market in the Marketplace at Steamtown was filled with energy.
"I see a total change and I see a lot of very positive things coming with the new wine bar and this whole marketplace is just going to be phenomenal," said Neil Edley of Sugar Plum Chocolate in Forty Fort.
Both vendors and shoppers are excited about what the upgrades may do for a place that once had a questionable future until a new owner took over the former Mall at Steamtown more than two years ago.
"I think he`s done a lot to turn the mall around, turn it into a marketplace and you know he`s got a great vision and I think people are starting to see that vision and you see things that are progressing over the last couple months and they`re doing a great job here and I think it`s going to continue to grow," Michael Hayes of Dunmore told Newswatch 16.
The new renovations and the prospect of shopping local for the holidays are what bring customers to the market. This space used to be the food court at the Mall at Steamtown.
Business owners like A.J. Sanguedolci of Pittston Ketchup Company, are seeing a great response.
"Everyone is really friendly, I think that`s what we`re known for around here, and everyone is very eager to support local, which is a huge advantage when you`re trying to start a business," he said.
Many of the vendors primarily sell their products online and are using this market as an opportunity to meet their customers.
"I love to see the customers that I`ve met on social media that have bought from me on Etsy that I get to see you know face-to-face. They get to tell me their stories about the gifts they bought previous years," says Lisa Malsberger, owner of Tig & Cooneys.
The Public Market is set for two Saturdays -- December 16 and December 23.