Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicago's French Inspired Market Soon to Offer Delectable Culinary Treats

Local culinary favorites Pastoral, Vanille Patisserie and Flip Crepes are among the many local vendors to be featured at MetraMarket's French Market.

CHICAGO, Aug. 19 -- From locally grown fruits and vegetables to freshly-baked breads to artisanal made cheeses, Chicago will finally have a year-round, European-inspired fresh market to call its own. To be comprised of more than two dozen individual vendors, Chicago French Market is poised to become Chicago's newest and most enticing culinary destination, featuring Pastoral, Espression by Lavazza, Sweet Miss Giving's, Flip Crepes and the award-winning Vanille Patisserie, among many others.

Chicago French Market is the heart of MetraMarket, a new vibrant, street-level restaurant and retail complex developed by U.S. Equities Realty, a full-service real estate firm based in Chicago. Connected to Ogilvie Transportation Center's suburban commuter concourse, MetraMarket will enliven two underutilized city blocks bounded by Lake, Canal, Washington and Clinton Streets in Chicago's West Loop. Six days a week, alluring aromas from fresh baked goods and other delectable items will fill Chicago French Market at 131 N. Clinton Street, making it an exciting fresh food destination for local residents, downtown office workers, commuters, tourists and Chicagoans alike.

Managed and operated by the Bensidoun family, the largest market operator in and around Paris, Chicago French Market is the latest in a growing number of Bensidoun French Markets throughout the Chicagoland area. To date, the family manages eleven weekly outdoor markets throughout Chicagoland during the summer.

The combined passion and vision for Chicago French Market has enabled the Bensidoun family and U.S. Equities to assemble a unique collection of local vendors that were hand selected for their individual passions, high-quality products and competitive prices. Bringing together the best-of-the-best from Chicago neighborhoods and outlying areas, Chicago French Market will be largely comprised of entrepreneurs, family-owned businesses and accomplished purveyors, including:


** Albano's Deli: Recently voted as "Favorite Deli" by West Suburban Living Magazine readers, Albano's Deli, an authentic Italian specialty store, will provide Chicago French Market customers with imported and domestic meats, tomato products and other Italian favorites. It will also offer an assortment of freshly made sub sandwiches, salads and soups, as well as deli tray catering.

** Canady Le Chocolatier: Professional chocolatier, Michael Canady, who attended Richemonte School in Lucerne, Switzerland and studied in Antwerp, Belgium, will be offering his broad selection of delicious rich dark, milk and white chocolate creations. Headquartered in Chicago's South Loop, Canady Le Chocolatier will boast mouth-watering specialties such as truffles, chocolate-coated orange slices, marzipan, nougat, ginger slices and a variety of ganache.

** Chicago Organics: An organization dedicated to the expanded production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced products, Chicago Organics will offer an exceptional array of fresh and certified organic produce, meats, dairy and other local delicacies.

** Completely Nuts: Completely Nuts began as a small roaster at a local fair back in 1991 and evolved into one of Chicago's most renowned nut shops. It will offer a variety of roasted almonds, cashews, pecans and peanuts, as well as scrumptious candied options.

** Espression by Lavazza: In addition to its 2,045-square-foot space within MetraMarket, the 114 year old, family-owned Italian cafe will also offer its award-winning espresso and coffee drinks, as well as authentic gelato, at its French Market location.

** Flip Crepes: For breakfast, lunch or dinner, the tastes of authentic France can be found in Flip Crepes, a creperie offering a variety of healthy and original recipes wrapped in an all-natural wheat crepe. It's traditional French food at its best: chocolate, dulce de leche, fresh fruits, goat cheese, roasted mushrooms and caramelized onions are among the palette of flavors that will please food connoisseurs at Chicago French Market.

** Fraternite Notre Dame: The nuns of the Fraternite Notre Dame have created a loyal following for their sweets and baked goods. A large selection of handmade items will be available, including fresh breads, creme brulees, quiches and beignets, among dozens of other sweet and savory baked goods. Additionally, a portion of their profits will fund the Fraternite Norte Dame's charitable work with families in need throughout Chicago.

** Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine: Chicagoans Ken Miller and Greg O'Neill own and operate this European-inspired, authentic neighborhood cheese shop, offering the highest quality fine and artisan cheeses from America and around the world, select small production wines and freshly baked breads, along with a full complement of related items such as charcuterie and olives. Pastoral also offers custom gift collections, gourmet sandwiches and salads, picnics and catering. Pastoral operates successful locations in Lakeview and in the Loop and is known for its approachable and knowledgeable staff.

** Sweet Miss Giving's: Sweet Miss Giving's Bakery and Gifting is a premier bakery and jobs program that offers rich, decadent baked goods while providing a new reason to feel good about sweet indulgences: more than 50 percent of all profits go to help the formerly homeless and HIV/AIDS-affected men, women and children of Chicago House. Opened in November 2008, this new bakery with a great story has garnered attention from local foundations and news outlets as an innovative business with a social mission.

** Vanille Patisserie: Owned by Dimitri Fayard, the World Pastry Champion of 2008, and Keli Fayard, an accomplished cake designer, this husband and wife team has built an award-winning French pastry shop that melds classic European traditions with modern flavors. Appealing to the contemporary palette, Vanille Patisserie specializes in wedding and special occasion cakes, handmade chocolates and candies, mousse cakes and luscious tarts.

** Wisconsin Cheese Mart: Headquartered in Old World Third Street in downtown Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Cheese Mart is a 70 year old tradition. Offering a wide collection of Wisconsin-produced sheep, cow and goats milk varieties, Wisconsin Cheese Mart's hand-crafted offerings will appeal to cheese lovers in search of the Midwest's finest cheeses.


"Chicago French Market has assembled the area's best vendors to create a dynamic market experience that boasts a range of local and international flavors," said Sebastien Bensidoun, executive vice president of Bensidoun Investment LLC and a fourth generation Bensidoun market expert. "With its collection of vendors and a public space for cooking demonstrations, events, mingling and dining, we're certain that Chicago French Market will be solidified in the minds of Chicagoans as a culinary and shopping destination unlike anything else in the city."

"Chicagoans will finally have a true marketplace right in the heart of downtown offering the exciting experience of a farmers' market six days a week, 52 weeks a year, rain or shine," said Camille Julmy, vice chairman of U.S. Equities. "From a Metra commuter or nearby worker looking to pick up a healthy, fresh meal on-the-go to a city resident looking to pick up ingredients for a tasty, home cooked dinner, Chicago French Market will appeal to a broad range of consumers looking for a unique shopping experience and high-quality products."

Set to open this fall, Chicago French Market will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For additional information on joining Chicago French Market, please contact Katherine Loring, leasing associate for U.S. Equities' MetraMarket and Chicago French Market leasing team, at 312-456-7061. To stay up-to-date on the latest news on Chicago French Market, join the e-mail list to receive details on opening festivities and additional vendor information at www.chicagofrenchmarket.com.


About Chicago French Market - A Bensidoun Market

The 15,000-square-foot Chicago French Market will boast European style and consist of more than 25 individual vendors offering an array of meat, fish, cheese, organic produce and baked goods, as well as prepared meals for busy consumers. Unlike other seasonal farmers markets, Chicago French Market will be the only year-round market of its kind in the city.

Chicago French Market will be developed and managed by the Bensidoun family, the largest food operators of covered and open-air food markets in and around Paris since 1953. Thousands of vendors sell goods at the more than 80 markets throughout the Paris metropolitan area. In 1996, the Bensidouns decided to expand outside of Europe and created Bensidoun USA to develop French markets in the United States. The Bensidouns operate 15 markets in the U.S., 11 of which are throughout the Chicago area, all bringing a sense of community found in the markets of Europe, providing a place to gather, socialize and purchase quality goods at reasonable prices. For more information, please visit www.chicagofrenchmarket.com and www.bensidounusa.com.


About MetraMarket

Developed by U.S. Equities Realty, the 100,000-square-foot MetraMarket will be a vibrant street-level retail and restaurant complex that will bridge the gap in activity between the Loop and West Loop areas. MetraMarket will be home to a variety of unique restaurants, retail stores, boutique shops and neighborhood service providers, as well as the French Market. Bounded by Lake, Canal, Washington and Clinton streets and connected to the Ogilvie Transportation Center, MetraMarket will energize the heart of Chicago's West Loop office and residential markets by creating a bustling urban marketplace that will attract Metra commuters, downtown workers, area residents and tourists alike. Metra and the City of Chicago are working together with U.S. Equities to help make MetraMarket a one-of-a-kind culinary, cultural and entertainment destination in Chicago. For more information, please visit www.metramarket.com.


About U.S. Equities Realty

U.S. Equities Realty is a leading full-service commercial real estate firm headquartered in Chicago. The company serves as a strategic real estate advisor to clients throughout the United States and Latin America, providing development, program management, build-to-suit and construction oversight services; asset management and leasing; tenant representation, consulting and advisory services; and financial and investment services. For more information, please visit www.usequities.com.


Media Contacts:
Courtney Harper
312-819-5722
courtney@reputationpartners.com

Erin Serkaian
312-819-5719
erin@reputationpartners.com

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