Neighbors strive to save Madison's Jenifer Street Market from closing

Jenifer Street Market (Source: Jonah Chester / WORT 89.9)
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- Madison residents have launched a fundraising campaign to help support the historic Jenifer Street Market on the city’s east side.

The newly formed Shenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara (SASY) Business Development Association hopes to raise $100,000 to help the Jenifer Street Market stay open, as the market’s future remains uncertain.

This comes after Schoep’s Ice Cream filed for receivership which, like bankruptcy, requires the company to sell off its assets – including the property Jenifer Street Market rents for its building, located next door to the ice cream factory at 2038 Jenifer St.

Following news of the sale, east side residents formed the SASY Business Development Association to help out. The funds they raise are intended to go to the market’s owner, Steve McKenzie, so that he can buy the property himself.

Interested buyers are meeting on Dec. 16 at the Concourse Hotel to bid for the property.

If McKenzie fails to buy the property, he may end up using the money for renovations to the market, as he works with a future owner or developer, according to Trevor Fink, the president of the SASY Business Development Association.

“That location has operated as a grocery store continuously for 70 years, starting in 1949. To see Steve [McKenzie] thrown out would be terrible, but to also lose the market would have a tremendous, negative impact on our community. Tonight, we stand prepared to step up for a long-time neighbor and mobilize behind the Jenifer Street Market,” Fink says.

So far SASY has raised $3,000 of the $100,000, Fink says, since the campaign launched. Donations can be made on their website.