Former Dose Market crew launches Fete, an evening shopping event
Shopping for gifts and attending festive parties are some of the best parts of the holiday season, and Fete Chicago — a rare nighttime holiday shopping market — will fuse both with a Midwest-centric
celebration of all things food and design when the holiday market debuts Thursday.
Fete is a pop-up shopping market that will feature 29 food and design vendors from Chicago land and other areas of the Midwest — all of whom will come together to offer a unique selection of artisan gift items from gourmet popcorn and quality-cured meats to hand-stitched pillow cases and locally-made jewelry and accessories.
But Fete — the French word for party — wouldn’t live up to its name without offering all the bells and whistles of a traditional holiday jubilee.
For a $5 fee at the door—a percentage of which is donated to Fresh Moves, a local charity that works to eliminate “food deserts” in the city — guests can sip complimentary sparkling wines from IL Sparkling Co. while sampling cuisine from local food vendors while getting a little holiday shopping done.
“We’re going to have a light celebratory vibe where people can stop in after work on their way out for the night, pick some gifts up and be on their way,” said Emily Fiffer of Fete.
The creative minds behind Fete — Fiffer, a fashion blogger for Daily Candy, Jessica Herman, formerly of TimeOut Chicago, and Heather Sperling of Tasting Table — are three of the four founders of Chicago’s Dose Market, a shopping event that features a different selection of local vendors at a market held each month at the River East Arts Center.
The three women broke-off ties with their former business partner fashion stylist April Francis in July of this year and joined together to form Fete, which could be considered a Dose spin-off featuring a handful of prior Dose vendors.
Fiffer declined to discuss the specifics of the break, but said Fete was developed as a way to continue to celebrate local artisans but with an evening party vibe.
“We had worked on Dose for a solid year, and it was important for the three of us to continue working with these amazing vendors we met during that time,” Fiffer said.
Two-time Dose vendor Newell Frievogel, co-owner of local home and fashion accessories vendor Burrow & Hive, said the nighttime party vibe of Fete would create a great atmosphere for networking with other business owners.
“I think a holiday market is a great way for local vendors to get our products out there during the shopping season, but we’re even more excited to do Fete because it’s on a weeknight and will be a good way to meet other creative people in Chicago and get our name out there to people who are visiting Chicago and just stop by the market for some quick shopping.”
Food vendor Malika Ameen, owner of web-based sweets caterer ByM Desserts, has been a Dose vendor six times in the past, but decided to try something new by joining Fete this season instead.
“Fete is really about taking the very best of an eclectic mix of people—some of who have store fronts and some like me who don’t — and offering a special product mix from a group of small purveyors,” Ameen said.
Natalie Hayes is a local free-lance writer.