New England Open Markets had it’s beginnings in 2003 when it’s founder, Chis Masci, freshly transplanted from NYC, missed his Sunday trek with friends to that city’s open-air markets. A lover of markets both here and abroad, and the wares and the atmosphere they offer, Masci saw what Boston was missing out on. Thus began his ambitious desire to fill that void and the task of locating an outdoor site. He found it in Boston’s South End full of artists’ studios and galleries, the perfect location for the small band of artisans and craftspeople that joined him for this adventure known as South End Open Market.
By 2015 the market had expanded to 3 city blocks and over 150 artisan vendors. On any given Sunday, Boston residents and the city’s visitors could find one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, artwork, cutting-edge clothing designs, creations for kids, creations for dogs, and more. It was place for the special and the unique, with new and returning vendors each week. To public delight, food trucks were added to the experience in 2010, serving everything from Vietnamese to Chilean to grilled cheese fare. A robust farmers market came later with the benefits of shopping locally with produce, baked goods, flowers and sweets. Throw in the people watching and the South End Open Market was known as the perfect way to spend a Sunday for the young and hip, those with kids in tow, those with dogs in tow, and those just migrating back into the city. Chris Masci no longer runs markets in the South End, after 13 years he has since moved to his Sunday Market to Central Square in Cambridge, the Central Flea.
The addition of the Greenway Open Market along Boston’s waterfront on the newly designed Rose Kennedy Greenway opened up another venue for both vendors, local residents, and visitors alike on Saturdays, and now every third Sunday. And to the North and South of the city, Open Markets can be found in historic Salem and, most recently, in the South Boston design district.
From Holiday Markets promising truly festive shopping experiences each year to establishing new venues, New England Open Markets’ events are ever-changing and expanding to accommodate both the growing number of talented artist-entrepreneurs and fans of the unique as well.