FOOD

Columbus Friends Launch Franklinton Market to Fill a Void in the Community

The new store at the River & Rich development will sell the typical convenience and grocery items, as well as fresh sandwiches, take-and-go meals and art supplies.

Jill Moorhead
Tamieka Cobb (left) and Rasheedah Crawley partnered to open Franklinton Market on West Rich Street.

Rasheedah Crawley describes it as a temper tantrum. Crawley was in her studio at Franklinton’s Vanderelli Room this April when she messed up two batches of her vegan skincare line, Luxe Skincare. The setback was major, and emotions were high. Crawley knew she needed to walk it off, to go get an oatmeal cream pie or a Diet Coke. Anything to calm her down. But her East Franklinton studio wasn’t in close proximity to such conveniences.

“I was on the phone with Tamieka [Cobb] while having my tantrum,” remembers Crawley. “I needed a market, and there was nothing there.” And then she looked across the street at the River & Rich development; there was a “for rent” sign. “I said to Tamieka, ‘Someone should put a market there,’ and then one of us said, ‘We should do it.’’’ The friends called the rental number the next day, and Franklinton Market was born.

The 1,250-square-foot market, which is expected to open this fall, will feature basic convenience items like snacks, sodas, health and beauty aids, and a small number of grocery items, as well as fresh sandwiches, wraps and take-and-go meals. The store will also sell basic art supplies. Crawley will lend her marketing expertise to Franklinton Market (she’s a marketing manager for a major advertising firm), while Cobb will use her 16 years in catering to provide fresh food options. Customers will be able to take away reheatable helpings of bourbon chicken and hibachi-style meals, two customer favorites from Cobb’s catering operation, 36 Catering.

The pair has surveyed local residents, workers and frequent Franklinton visitors about their preferences on products and hours. “We are extremely excited about servicing the neighborhood,” Cobb says. “We want to make sure that the community is engaged.” The biggest surprise in their research is that potential customers want early morning hours and are not interested in late-night shopping. This data informed their decision to push up opening hours from 11 a.m. to 7 or 8 a.m., so that people can stop by before work, explains Cobb.

When asked what she’s learned in the process, Crawley says, “You can have all kinds of plans, but the universe is going to put you where it wants you to go, to do the work it needs you to do. I would have never thought, ‘I’m going to own a convenience store.’ It was a need, not just for us. It makes me exceptionally happy. This really makes my heart glow and makes me feel good.”

Franklinton Market

439 W. Rich St., Franklinton; franklintonmkt.com

This story is from the September 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.