LEXINGTON, Ky. — For decades it was a hub for buses in Lexington. Now, the Julietta Market is a non-profit public market built to develop economic opportunity and growth in the north end of town.

What You Need To Know

  • Julietta Market allows small business to build their craft

  • It use to house buses. Now it's a maker's space

  • Non-profit North Limestone Community Development Corporation helps connect owners with resources

  • Goal is to rotate space for the businesses to allow for growth and expansion

“I’ve been cooking for 35 years,” said Angelia Drake, who’s an example of gaining from the economic opportunities at the market.

She now has several sous chefs who are helping to make her dream come true.

“I finally have a space to pretty much call my own,” Drake said. “I think I've had this dream since i was like 19 years old and being here Julietta Market has helped this dream be fulfilled because it gives me a space that gives me an opportunity to share what I love doing and be respected.”

Her food is cooked in three different locations.

“I didn’t want to do soul food. I wanted to do heart healthy,” Drake said.

Her rotating menu centered on health is her current mission.

“So many of our people in the community have diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, heart problems, and it comes from the foods we eat,” Drake said. “The fried and greasy heavy salted foods are not good for us and our community. Our race of people suffer so much from health problems as it is not wanting to give them an opportunity to have healthy food at an affordable price.”

A vendor sells craft popcorn at one of the 60 kiosks at the Greyline Station. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

A majority of the preparation takes place at the Julietta Market, a space supported by multiple other organizations to get Drake's business standing on its own.

Andrea James is the executive director at the non-profit North Limestone Community Development Corporation.

“This is our primary focus for economic development,” James said.

She said in the 23,000 square foot space, 60 vendors and seven food stalls are able to kick start their business.

“Someone starting a business may have difficulty doing, but we have the connections, because we're nonprofit, and had these connections in north, north Lexington to connect them to those resources to get those things done,” James said.

She points out it’s a rotating space for the businesses so they can build a customer base and expand.

Angelina James navigates a digital register at her food stall. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

“Our ultimate goal is that these folks should be in bricks and mortars, and we should do what we can to help get them there,” James said.

No matter the age, Drake said to always follow your dream.

“I’ve stumbled many times in life and this has been a blessing,” Drake said.

The non-profit said they’re planning to host a grand opening of the market sometime in the Fall. A dedication to Civil Rights activist Julia Etta Lewis will take place at that time as well.