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As the owners of Catonsville’s anticipated 818 Market on Frederick Road eye a midsummer opening next year, they’re working toward “a real social mission” by donating food to local nonprofit groups through matched purchases made on their website, said co-owner Patrick Baldwin.

Also, the Baltimore County Council voted Nov. 18 to support a $4.87 million loan to the market from the Maryland Housing and Community Development Department’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program that provides gap financing to new businesses in designated sustainable communities like Catonsville.

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Currently available on the market’s website, patrons have the option of spending $15 to donate a 14-pound turkey, a cost matched by the 818 Market proprietors and Plano-Coudon Construction, the construction firm building the market. The plan is to purchase 169 turkeys, to be donated to the nonprofit Catonsville Emergency Assistance, which serves Catonsville families in need of food or housing assistance, and to be delivered by the market on Dec. 13.

Baldwin and Dan Zakai, co-owners of the market, are also seeking donations of $3 to $7 to offer produce at a free farmers market operated by Love the HopeFul, an organization that provides resources for housing insecure and homeless individuals.

The market, located under the Jones Fall Expressway across from Health Care for the Homeless, offers free barber services and suits on the third Saturday of every month from April to December.

“What [the market] didn’t have was fresh produce,” Baldwin said.

“We wanted to create an easy way for people to help” by going onto the website and buying strawberries, peaches, apples, grapes and berries at wholesale prices that could then be donated to the market, he said.

In the three months that 818 Market has partnered with Love the HopeFul, Baldwin estimates over $1,500 of produce has been donated to the Baltimore-based nonprofit.

“Supporting the community and having a real social mission” is significant to establishing the tent-pole business, Baldwin said.

The Catonsville residents were looking at “things we could impact before we’re even open,” but the market could “take it up 10 times [as much] when we’re actually open,” Zakai said.

The online 818 store launched in 2018, ahead of the $9 million, two-story market’s planned opening that same year, before the May flood set the project back and devastated other area businesses, Baldwin said.

Around that time, the market owners decided to revamp their business model, went after a liquor license and opted to raze the old office building in favor of building a larger “food emporium,” Baldwin said.

The 16,000-square foot building will hold two floors and a basement, with the market located on the first floor, and a restaurant on the second, according to floor plans; the restaurant will feature a rotating menu, include vegan and gluten-free options, and will be sourced from ingredients sold in-house.

Patrons currently can buy a limited selection of items, including roasted-to-order coffee from Thread Coffee Roasters, store advertising merchandise and, soon, a private label of sustainably sourced spices, to be launched online in the coming weeks, Zakai said.

The grocery portion will include a sushi bar, a takeout window, a butcher counter, fresh seafood, and catering, deli and coffee services.

The market will continue delivery services currently offered on its website to homes within a 5-mile radius, Baldwin said.

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“Delivery is going to be a big part of our business,” Baldwin said. Once the liquor license is secured, Baldwin said they hope to also offer liquor delivery services.

About 30 parking spaces will be available for the market, including existing lots behind the market and adjacent to it at Zakai’s Frederick Road Veterinary Hospital, Zakai said.

Baldwin said plans for bike racks and doggie water fountains in the store’s construction are meant to encourage pedestrian access.

The two aim to start the hiring process in February and look to bring on around 70 employees for the market and restaurant, Baldwin said.

Southwestern Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk this month lauded the owners for their “tremendous amount of investment” in Catonsville.

“Once this is up and moving, I think it’s going to be a great new addition,” he said.

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