A joint venture among tenants in the SoHa Arts Building will create a public-facing storefront for customers to shop locally made gifts and goods.
By Matt Skoufalos | November 2, 2022
This week, the SoHa Arts Building in Haddon Township, a combination business incubator and artists’ loft, will open a client-facing storefont, the SoHa Arts Marketplace.
The new entity is a partnership formed by two tenants at the building: Gina Horlacher of Cheese Etc., and Sachiko Levinson of GF Sweeties.
It includes six other, local, women-owned businesses, all of whom are also residents of the SoHa Arts Building: Bloomeon, Blueberry Fields Artisan Soap, Collingswood Candle Company, Kitchen Confections, The Sassy Apple, and Taylor Hughes Art.
Cheese Etc., which downsized its Haddon Avenue operations when it moved into the SoHa building six years ago, had popped up into other area storefronts during the holidays. But with short-term rentals harder to come by, Horlacher was looking for a more permanent option.
At the same time, Levinson, who had been growing the wholesale clientele for her gluten-free baked goods business, GF Sweeties, wanted to create a way to reach her customers directly.
In partnering with their SoHa neighbors, they can offer their fellow entrepreneurs a customer-facing outlet that the facility lacks. The market opens with a launch party November 3, and will offer expanded hours for holiday shoppers after Thanksgiving.
“This was convenient,” Horlacher said. “We’ll have set hours. We like the concept. We think our customer base will be supportive.”
“Part of my mission is serving the community,” Levinson said.
“My audience has a lot of dietary restrictions.
“This was my outlet for people to have access to my product.”
Cheese Etc. offers gift baskets year-round, but orders peak during holidays, Horlacher said.
Some of her best-selling cheese spreads incorporate Jersey wine and craft beer, jams and jellies, fudge, and truffles.
Shoppers who visit the SoHa Arts Marketplace can also browse an inventory of products from other SoHa tenants that includes preserved flower arrangements, soaps, candles, sweets, jewelry, and pet items.
“We want everybody to thrive, all the vendors, during market season especially,” Horlacher said. “We really picked wonderful vendors, and they work so much to create something new.”
“Everybody started from nothing,” Levinson said. “If we succeed, it could be continuous, and we could bring in other vendors.”
GF Sweeties has grown rapidly at local farmers markets since Levinson launched it last June, leaving behind a corporate web development job to prepare gluten-free recipes she’d been making at home for years.
Although the holiday season is foremost on all the vendors’ minds, she’s looking past January to creating a destination for regulars to enjoy her gluten-free brownies, cookies, pies, and cakes.
“Everybody has a focus on holiday markets,” Levinson said. “Me too, but I’m [thinking] more like, after January, because then people will have more access to the bakery.”
“Our mission is that everyone in the family can enjoy the same thing together,” she said. “I wanted to do something that I like, and something that I want to do for the community.”
“We’re hoping it will bring SoHa more into the limelight in the community,” Horlacher said. “We’re hoping it helps everybody in the building.”
The SoHa Arts Marketplace opens November 3 at 6 p.m. It is located in the SoHa Arts Building at 1001 White Horse Pike in Haddon Township.
Business hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, until 6 p.m. Friday, and until 5 p.m. Saturday until Thanksgiving. Afterwards, the shop will add Wednesday and Sunday hours from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Please support NJ Pen with a subscription. Get e-mails, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.