Downtown Market to lead international tour of historic Spanish markets

Posted on November 30, 2017 by Downtown Market

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market, the region’s preeminent destination for one-of-a-kind food experiences, today announced its first international food and public market tour to Spain. Downtown Market President and CEO Mimi Fritz will co-lead the group on a seven-day tour with visits to nationally renowned public markets in Barcelona and Madrid, including Barcelona’s famous Mercado de La Boqueria and Madrid’s highly acclaimed Mercado San Miguel.

Spain is known to have one of the greatest urban networks of public markets in Europe, if not globally. Barcelona alone features 43 public markets, 25 of which have been completely renovated over the past six years.

“The Downtown Market offers a unique opportunity that fosters a community of food foodies, food lovers, and those interested in learning and knowing more about food,” said Fritz. “After studying and visiting public markets throughout Europe and Spain I wanted to share with others my passion for food, public markets, and the culture of a country that has become known as a haven for food lovers. Spain is known for the best food that the Mediterranean has to offer. I fully expect tour participants will delight in bringing their delicious Spanish gastronomy experiences back to our community.”

The seven-day international trip takes place June 17-24, 2018, and traces the history of Spanish markets while hitting a variety of new urban hot spots. Fritz will accompany the small group, providing insight into some of her favorite Spanish foods, vendors, and food experiences that are representative of Spain’s food culture.

The Tasting Spain tour begins in seaside Barcelona, a city known for its diverse architecture, beaches, public markets, and a vibe of pure enchantment, then travels by train to Madrid to enjoy art, tapas, and flamenco. Tasting Spain will be filled with excellent meals and market visits, private tours, a cooking class in La Boqueria market, guided excursions to the countryside, a visit to the world-famous El Rastro flea market, plus leisure time to shop and sightsee.

The Downtown Market is a mixed-use facility combining local food production, education, and entrepreneurship opportunities. The indoor facility features a 23-vendor market hall with two full-service restaurants, while dozens of artisans line the outdoor market shed during special events. Fritz is focused on creating strong urban places for communities of people. She has been with the Market since the groundbreaking and recently attended a public market conference in Barcelona.

For this special trip, the Downtown Market has partnered with Hudson Valley based tour operator Onward Travel. Onward Travel co-founder Molly Crist, who helped open the Downtown Market and has a passion for small food businesses as previous owner of the Silver Spork food truck, will co-lead the tour. A portion of the proceeds from the trip will benefit the Downtown Market Education Foundation.

The full trip itinerary and details are available here