PopShop market returns to the Elm City

In the latest boost to the local economy, PopShop Market will return to the Elm City this Sunday after making its debut last year.

PopShop Market, a European-style open-air pop-up market in the Fairfield and New Haven counties, started last June as an independent project spearheaded by three friends. Kelly Scinto, Andrea Espach and Ashley Kane, three professionals with different careers in areas ranging from graphic design to event planning, hosted a total of four PopShops in southern Connecticut last year, including one on the triangular island between Broadway and Elm Street in New Haven. The markets featured clothing and food vendors, furniture and artwork.

Scinto said the three started the project to provide a free event where local residents with diverse interests could spend time on the weekends.

“We always search for cool things to do on the weekends,” Scinto said. “We think that hosting the event on Broadway in New Haven works great because of the central location and traffic on both sides of the island.”

This year, the PopShop will feature a BarCar offering spring inspired cocktails and craft beers from a local Connecticut brewery. The event will also feature several Food trucks including LobsterCraft, Mo Green Juice and Bodega Taco Bar Truck.

While Scinto said that none of the shops along the Broadway Shopping District would be directly participating in the event, she said that last year those stores set up tables outside of their establishments to attract more customers during the PopShop.

“We definitely don’t want to compete with the surrounding stores,” Scinto said. “We are trying to increase foot traffic to the area.”

The event will also feature live music courtesy of local Connecticut song artist Elle Sera, a singer and songwriter who combines soul, rock, blues and folk influences.

The event took place only once in the Elm City last year, and four out of six employees interviewed at establishments along the Broadway Shopping District said that they had not heard of it at the time.

Denali Store Manager Chris Sciarappa said that, though the PopShop only operated for one day last year, it was nevertheless a “pretty big deal when it did.”

Scinto said 2,000 visitors attended the New Haven market event last year, some even arriving from other areas of Connecticut and New York City. She and her two co-planners hope to host four PopShop markets in total this year, with two taking place in New Haven. The second is scheduled to take place in August.

Scinto believes that the event will appeal to Yale students because of the high volume of food vendors — which will see an increase in number from last year — and clothing merchants that cater to young shoppers.

Renita Heng ’16 said that she would definitely be interested in attending the event because of the food trucks and potential cool clothing items. She said she thinks the performer could also draw more Yalies.

“It’s an extra spice to the Broadway Street that I’d like to check out,” Heng said. She added that it would be cool to have these types of events more regularly, but not too often — about once every couple months.

The PopShop Market will operate from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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