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September 25, 2023

Maker to Main reopens in Canal District on redeveloped Harding Street block

A storefront window Photo | Timothy Doyle Maker to Main on Harding Street in Worcester

After closing its Main Street location in March, local food purveyor Maker to Main reopened in a larger Canal District space on Harding Street at the former location of Harding Glass.

The grocer held a soft opening on Saturday at its 162 Harding St. location, and is open seven days a week.

Lynn Cheney, owner of Maker to Main

“It was an emotional weekend,” Owner and Chief Local Officer Lynn Cheney said on Monday morning. “It was much more than we had anticipated, incredibly busy.” 

Cheney said her loyal customers from the Main Street location flooded the store and were very gracious in showing their appreciation for the store’s reopening.

The new location offers a deli counter and a selection of prepared foods from the shop’s kitchen, as well as a parking lot.

William "Billy" Nemeroff, co-owner of Soulfood Hospitality & B.T.'s Fried Chicken and BBQ

Cheney partnered up with William Nemeroff, co-owner of B.T.’s Fried Chicken and BBQ on Park Avenue in Worcester, to run the kitchen. In addition to expanding the offerings at the store, Nemeroff uses this culinary expertise to cut down on food waste. 

Cheney said she received some turnips that were not attractive enough for the produce shelves, but otherwise good and Nemeroff was able to process the turnips into a couple of different dishes that nearly sold out over the weekend.

The shop’s expanded offerings during the soft opening is just the tip of the iceberg, said Cheney. There is much more to come.

Cheney announced the closure of her Main Street location in February, citing stalled Main Street development projects and a move to a work-from-home model for downtown office workers leading to a lack of foot traffic. She had opened the location in 2020 after getting her start distributing locally grown food since 2012 as the Lettuce Be Local Food Hub.

Worcester developer Ed Russo bought the former locations of Harding Glass and Harding Tire in 2022 and has redeveloped the buildings into retail, restaurant, and office space. 

The area is expected to see a rise in population, with more than 1,000 housing units in various stages of construction and planning, including more than 200 units scheduled to come online in the fall at Boston developer Madison Properties’ The Revington in Kelley Square. 

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