October 17, 2023

The Boston Globe


Snowport holiday market set to return to the Seaport, and Trillfit plans a comeback

A winter wonderland returns to the Seaport next month, when more than 120 small businesses overtake the neighborhood’s central strip to sell everything from candles to cocktail mix.

The Holiday Market at Snowport — now in its third year — opens on Nov. 10 with dozens of women- and minority-owned New England businesses filling its stalls. Shoppers will be able to meander through blocks of booths, 17 dining options, and four themed bars, including Betty’s Bar and The Dizzy Dreidel. (At least a few of the drinks will be made with mixers from Simple Sips, a Stoneham small business with a corner stall of its own.)

The idea is to “spread holiday cheer” while promoting small entrepreneurs, said Ariel Foxman, a vice president at WS Development, the Seaport developer that installs the market on unbuilt lots it controls, in a statement.

Visitors can snap photos in front of the Mistletoe Archway and Presents Place, home to a collection of oversized gifts. An array of activities are planned as well, including outdoor curling (sans ice), evergreen trimmings at The Tree Market, and an annual holiday tree lighting. The annual Menorah lighting is scheduled for Dec. 10, while organizers promise sightings of Betty the Yeti scattered throughout the season.

A Winter Wish Wall will invite guests to share their holiday wishes on an interactive chalkboard, and a new “Crafting Corner” will host workshops — for kids and adults alike — on how to make mason jar snowglobes, holiday wreaths, and ornaments.

Like in previous years, Snowport will likely be “a critical driver of tourism in the colder months,” enticing visitors to brave the chill, said Martha Sheridan, the president and chief executive of Meet Boston.

That impact is also felt by vendors, said Greg Dekermenjian, co-owner of Sky Candle Co. The business appeared at the market in its inaugural year, when Dekermenjian and his husband, Albert Feldman, were operating solely online. But the foot traffic blew up their sales and encouraged them to open a brick-and-mortar outpost. That dream came to pass this summer when the couple opened a South End storefront.

Now Dekermenjian and Feldman will be back to the market next month with a table of eco-friendly, “clean burn” candles in winter scents. Also for sale? Mini votives of their top sellers, including fig and white tea and a lavender combination.

“This is one of the most well-run markets in the country,” Dekermenjian said. “Boston, and Seaport especially, is so much better off because of it.”

Lizzie Johnson of Lizzie’s Bakery agrees. The baker-owner plans to set up a “retro pop themed” booth that is “all about pink and color and celebrating life” — at least as well as you can in a 10-by-10-foot space. Expect an acrylic wall decor filled with sprinkles and a neon sign that reads “happiness in every slice,” she said. Inside, Johnson plans to sell cake tasting box samples, sprinkles in a jar, and jarred cookie mix in flavors including chocolate chip oatmeal and M&M.

“I never thought we’d be able to do something so big,” she said.

The market is once again sponsored by Constant Contact, the Boston online marketing company that has shopped its products to many of the vendors. Chief executive Frank Vella also added the company will be offering free gift wrapping the weekend after Thanksgiving (aka Small Business Saturday.) What comes of that is beneficial for local small businesses, he said, and by extension, the city.

“We want them to have captured enough of what they gain during the market, to stay in touch with the people who love their products,” Vella added. “That is good for us all on the other side.”

100 Seaport Boulevard, Boston; Open seven days a week, November 10 – December 31.

By Diti Kohli

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