Public Market House expands upward on Monument Square in Portland
PORTLAND — Renovations of the second floor of the Public Market House on Monument Square have been completed and the building is looking for new vendors.
Three new businesses have already leased space and planned to open this week. There is room for three or four more vendors, according to Bill Milliken, a member of Market Vendors, which runs the property.
Milliken, who owns Maine Beer & Beverage, was an original vendor at the Libra Foundation's defunct Portland Public Market on Preble Street and one of a handful who joined to find a new space when Libra announced it was closing the market in 2005.
"We started with three vendors three years ago, now we've got 10," said Milliken, who is showing his faith in the market's future by opening a second business, Market House Coffee, on the second floor.
Market House Coffee is joined by Peanut Butter & Jelly Time and Pie in the Sky. The coffee shop will serve Rock City coffee from Rockland, along with Tony's Doughnuts and pastries from Two Fat Cats.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Time is owned by Steve Miner, who found the space for lease on Craigslist and decided to move from the Boston area.
"I was going to have a cart in downtown Boston," Miner said. Instead, he has a 250-square foot, climate-controlled space with plenty of shared seating and a view of Monument Square. He plans to serve – you guessed it – peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and variations of the childhood favorite, including fluff and bananas. He'll also carry various scoopable cereals and juice boxes, and will use Borealis Bread and Grandy Oats granola.
Martha Elkus, like Milliken, is opening a second spot at the Market House. The owner of Big Sky Bread, Elkus plans to open Pie in the Sky in the coming weeks.
"We're in the business of making dough," she said. "I looked at the space up here and got excited."
Elkus said she plans on offering personal-sized pizzas. The crust will be partially baked in the morning at Big Sky's Deering Avenue bakery, and finished at the market.
"This is a very popular place for lunch," Elkus said.