Text and Photos
By Leah Sander
WARSAW — The Kosciusko Economic Development Corp.’s mission includes “bringing people together,” says its CEO Alan Tio.
That aspect is displayed in KEDCO’s downtown Warsaw office space, which opened in spring 2023.
The Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon-cutting for the building, located at 207 S. Buffalo St., on Monday, Nov. 20.
Not only does the building consist of KEDCO’s offices and a large meeting room on its third floor, it also has a co-working spot on the second floor and The Market retail space on the first floor.
Tio said the co-working space “can bring together people that are more of that entrepreneurial mindset.”
“People … can rub elbows and have a place to work from, and also with us being here, (have) access to the partners we work with,” he said.
People may reserve a spot in the co-working space by filling out an application at kosciuskoedc.com/the-workspace/.
As for The Market, eight local vendors are currently selling clothing, pottery, leather goods, coffee and more through it. It’s managed by Associates Laura Sanders and Melanie Woodruff. The two women are also selling there through their respective businesses, Laurel Pottery and Mod and Glory.
“This is a great space to be able to support just your neighbors,” said Woodruff. “There’s a lot of beauty in being able to shop small and shop local, and I feel like a lot of the world needs more of that.”
Tio said the goal of The Market is to help “get more downtown retail” in Warsaw.
“Vendors can experience being in downtown Warsaw, and when they’re wildly successful, we’ll help them find their own spot,” he said.
Sellers sign four-month contracts, paying monthly rent to KEDCO. After their time is up, they can choose to renew or not.
People may sign up to sell at The Market by filling out a form which may be found at kosciuskoedc.com/the-market/.
The Market is open for shopping from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, with special hours from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 25, for Small Business Saturday.
Tio said KEDCO, which has grown from two employees working out of a rented space to five full-time and seven part-time in the new building, is continuously focused on economic innovation.
In three to five years, “it’s just going to be continuing to build that flywheel of bringing people together, helping to build their companies, build local programs, local amenities in the community and then help tell our story at that level of why people should be here,” he said.