Business & Development, Springfield

New market owners to add to downtown vitality

SPRINGFIELD — When Amy Robinson and her partner Josh Dellinger purchased the Main Street Market a few months back, they weren’t entirely sure what they were getting into.

“Just a few years ago, we were living in Montana and I was working in public land conservation, and we had a three-year-old daughter,” Robinson said. “Josh, who’s from Eugene, thought it would be a great place to raise our young family and so we saw coming out here and immediately plugging into something so entwined in the community was something of an adventure.”

Decision made, Robinson and Dellinger purchased the market from long-time owner Erin Gilfilllan and so far, have never looked back.

According to Mike Eyster, community leader, the market is a critical element of downtown Springfield, calling the market “an anchor to the development and vitality of downtown.” 

“Just prior to the pandemic, downtown Springfield was experiencing a revival featuring multiple new retail stores and restaurants. Many new apartments were added to the housing stock on Main Street,” Eyster said. “As a result of these apartments, Springfield now has additional housing, living spaces that contribute to a more ‘walkable’ community,” Eyster said. 

He said that having a walkable grocery store benefits those in these new downtown apartments, the nearby Washburne District, and others working in and visiting the area.

Robison and Dellinger are happy to contribute to the viability of the city. 

“What I love about the market is the community element of the whole business,” Robinson said. “I’ve had people come up to me and thank me for purchasing the business and providing locally-sourced produce.” 

Robinson said that her goals and that of the community align well in terms of finding unique and hard-to-find items that one can’t find at traditional grocery stores.

Of course, with the supply chain issues plaguing almost all businesses, Robinson and Dellinger have had to get creative in terms of both finding unique items as well as mainstays.

“Some of the big challenges we’ve faced are finding items and pricing,” she said. “We want to offer a quality product and make a living on it, and it can sometimes be frustrating when we make a large order from a supplier, and it arrives incomplete.”

However, Robinson is quick to point out that the original owner, Erin Gilfilllan, built a solid foundation of vendors and contacts. 

“We are able to source a lot of produce with local farmers and so we aren’t as reliant on vendors that are hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away,” Robinson said. “And we have such a great and hard-working staff that it makes overcoming challenges all that much easier.”

She also points out that along with Dellinger, and Dellinger’s brother Teddy, they’ve made a commitment to treating those farmers well and make sure their needs are met. “The market is part of the community in town, but we are a community with our farmers, and we want to make sure they can be sustainable, just like us,” she said.

Speaking of sustainability, the local business community strongly believes that the sustainability of the market and downtown Springfield are strongly linked.

“Main Street Market has become a staple here in downtown Springfield,” said Vonnie Mikkelsen, president and CEO of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “Having an established neighborhood market in the community contributes to overall quality of life, choice and convenience of downtown living and working. Our community continues to support small, locally-owned businesses and as our residential community grows, I’m convinced that the demand for fresh, local produce and other quality goods and services will also grow.”

Robinson is counting on that continued support and growth. 

“My goal is to grow into a profitable and sustainable business,” she said. “As we continue to grow, I also want to offer more products, reduce our use of plastic and just continue to operate the best we can for our customers.”

The Main Street Market in downtown Springfield is located at 330 Main St. and is open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.



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