Shop N Grub brings local business to Naftzger Park


Maegan Vincent

Shopper browses sneaker collection by Stevie’s Sneaks. Stevie’s Sneaks makes custom name-brand sneakers.

Music, food and shopping come together at Shop N Grub every third Saturday of the summer and fall at Naftzger Park. The open market features a variety of small businesses, showcasing Wichita’s diversity and culture. 

“Market season is so electric,” Kenzie Borlane, owner of Dead Center Vintage, said. “The energy is so different than when we are just at the store front.”

Shop N Grub offers Wichitans a shopping experience that combines trendy finds and the atmosphere of the market’s location. Naftzger Park is surrounded by downtown Wichita’s vibrant murals and diverse architecture, highlighting the area’s importance to city life.

“I like coming to Shop N Grub because I love downtown Wichita,” Daniel Rodruiguez-Hernandez, high school senior, said. “I like how the tents organize vintage clothes by decade. I just bought a nice denim jacket for a good price.” 

Young locals give back to their city by supporting vendors at Shop N Grub. The open market gives small businesses a spotlight in an era of large corporations and fast fashion.

“I came because I knew there would be small businesses here,” freshman Jimena Villagrana said. “I like that this gives them more exposure.”

Dead Center Vintage is a business that offers a curated collection of vintage clothing, and it is a particularly popular stop for those attending markets like Shop N Grub. DCV is one example of a small business that has benefited greatly from this type of market.

“This is our first year attending Shop N Grub consistently,” Borlane said. We love coming here because it gets our name into other demographics that we otherwise would not be hitting. We want to invest in Wichita and meet our customers.”  

Other vendors have an even more personal connection to the products at their Shop N Grub tent. Caroline Geisler (@redwoodroots.ict on Instagram) has been hand-making hypoallergenic clay jewelry for the past two and a half years and credits a part of her customer base to markets like Shop N Grub.

“This has definitely been an experiment for me,” Geisler said. “Even if people don’t buy anything, it’s fun to see people follow me on social media.”

Shop N Grub has given Wichita shoppers and vendors an opportunity to connect. This market and similar Wichita events, like the upcoming Spooky Bazaar and Old Town Farmers Market, keep this connection alive and give citizens things to look forward to.

“I come to these events whenever I have the time,” junior Sara Saeed said. “There’s food and cute jewelry, so it’s always a good time.”