When Schwartz's Market closed last year, the South Side lost an 84-year-old institution. But last month, the market reopened as Schwartz's Living Market, with a vision that might be even more lasting.
The Carson Street location has been transformed according to the vision of owner Elisa Beck. While an old grocer's scale still bears witness to the building's history, the drop ceiling and shelving has been removed, revealing a tin ceiling above and hardwood floors below. And Schwartz's is now a marketplace of ideas — specifically those concerning holistic health and environmental sustainability.
Cynthia Hill, whose Third Day Luxury Soaps once sold its homegrown and organic products at the Strip District's Pittsburgh Public Market, says the Living Market "is much more conducive to what my business is about: sustainability." Other vendors include jewelry-makers and Yellowcorn Native American Recovery Services, which director/founder David Smith says is Pennsylvania's first American Indian substance-abuse-recovery program. The market "is working to create a culture of healing, and we'd like to be part of that," Smith says.
The market is currently open Saturdays only, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with plans to add hours by summer's end.
Foot traffic on the July 4 holiday weekend was light, but Jonathan DiSalle was doing steady business selling black-bean burgers, hummus wraps and other vegan fare. And while DiSalle hopes for more food vendors especially — he and Green Mango Thai Café are the only two currently on site — "I think it's got a lot of potential."