By Tyisha Henderson
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
The Emporiyum is making its way back to Baltimore for its third annual two-day event this weekend on the third floor of 600 E. Pratt St. near the inner harbor.
The event will include a host of restaurants and shops where attendees can sample or purchase food and drinks, shop and enjoy music from a live DJ.
“We have over 90 vendors participating with 50 percent coming from the local Baltimore area and the other 50 percent coming from all over the country,” said Sue-Jean Chun, cofounder of the Emporiyum. “We are expecting to sell out at a crowd of 6,000 people for the weekend.”
There will be a wide range of vendors, including places that sell burgers, fruit bars, syrup, seafood, waffles, desserts and more. The list of the participants can be found on the group’s website.
The Emporiyum is a connection between businesses and consumers and that is what business owners’ look forward to the most.
Debbi Ascher, who is the cofounder and president of Charmed Bar, said she is looking forward to participating in her first Emporiyum. Based in Gaithersburg, Ascher said charmed bars are all natural fruit and nut bars that are free of gluten, grain, soy, dairy and refined sugar. The only sweetener contained in the bars is honey.
“I expect this to have an impact on us locally more than we have now,” Ascher said. “I look forward to connecting with foodies, people interested in knowing more about our product.”
Ascher is not the only first timer who anticipates this connection provided by the Emporiyum. The owner of the Baltimore Waffle Co., Craig Grabowski, is another vendor who hopes the event will help build his business.
“I’m hoping to get more exposure, draw up some more business and grow the business,” Grabowski said. “Exposing people to the things I make and getting feedback from them.”
This is not Grabowski’s first run with events like this. He said that he usually sells his waffles at farmer’s markets.
Mary Corona, the general manager of Cakelove of Alexandria, Virginia, said the Emporiyum has helped her business in the past. Cakelove sells a variety of cakes in jars or classic style. This is the company’s second time at the Emporiyum.
“It (the Emporiyum) had great impact on our business,” Corona said. “We have seen company growth and had very good reviews.”
Chun said the Emporiyum is important for Baltimore and its residents.
“It brings the best of the food world both locally and nationally to Charm City,” Chun said. “My business partner and I both live and are raising our families in Baltimore and it’s important to us to shine a light on all the culinary talent that is happening here. It’s also important to lure other national talents to our city to bond and inspire the local makers. There are so many events in DC, just an hour away, and we love having a spectacular spring food event of our own right in Baltimore.”
Tickets for the event cost anywhere from $15 to $40 and are sold on Eventbrite. The time that attendees are admitted into the event is based on the type of ticket they purchase.
Those who purchase the VIP tickets for $40 can attend the event starting at 10 a.m. Early general admission is $25 and begins at 11 a.m. and late general admission is $15 and begins at 1:30 p.m.