CLEVELAND – It’s open four days a week and thousands rely on the West Side Market for fresh fruit, vegetables and other food items. But Wednesday's fire left many local shoppers and businesses at a loss.
Courtney Bonning owns Bonbon Pastry and Cafe where a lot of the ingredients she uses every day come from the West Side Market, which is right across the street.
"That's really the hub of everything that is Ohio City, so if something happened to the Market, something's gonna happen to every single business that's surrounding it. This is huge," said Bonning.
Courtney's chef also co-owns a stand inside the market where the fire left the building badly damaged and closed indefinitely.
"I was mortified. I was very terrified when I found out," said Bonning.
Terry Frick owns Frickaccio's Pizza Market in Fairview Park, but her original business is inside the Market.
"Your heart just sinks," said Terry. "You know, you just can't believe there's a fire in that building. It's such a beautiful building, first of all and also, too, what's going to happen next?"
Terry said she was devastated when she heard the news, for the employees who depend on the market for jobs and for the customers depending on the vendors for everything from pastries to Super Bowl parties.
"We have all our party trays, all our bagel trays, all our appetizers, everything is - you know - ordered and ready to be done and so the people that have orders are welcome to come to our Fairview store. We're opening it extended hours," said Terry.
Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman represents the ward where the Market is located. "I say to people all the time, that if Cleveland were Rome, the West Side Market is the Vatican. This place is incredibly important to all of us," said Cimperman.
Cimperman said the Market played a big part in the redevelopment of Ohio City. He's hoping the community responds well when the market is back in business.
"When this does reopen, fingers crossed this Friday, this weekend, that we get here and we tell people how much we love them. We show them the same support we do in celebration as we do in times of stress."
More than 100 vendors operate in the West Side Market which is usually open four days a week.