WHITEFISH, Mont. - David Gatton was inspired to start the Stumptown Marketplace by his daughter.
The marketplace in Whitefish opened last Friday with its first vendors. It is a unique space for the area, where local businesses can rent vendor spots to house their businesses.
"It really started last year when the farmer's market ended here in Whitefish and we couldn't get our CSA carrots anymore and my daughter wouldn't eat carrots from the supermarket, and we were like 'Why can't we have something like this year-round?'" said Gatton.
He bought the space on Spokane Ave. in December, started construction in March and opened its doors on Friday, August 1.
The space is made up of nine vendor booths, with an open air space in the middle for seasonal vendors. It also features two restaurants at the back end and a seating area with an outdoor deck in the works.
"The ones down the middle will be a little less permanent. I see those as rotating more often, keeping it exciting, so you never know what's going to be in here," said Gatton.
The main goal of the marketplace is to create a space where local businesses can thrive. Vendors like the Zucca Marketplace Bistro are hoping they can be a part of that.
"Customers can come to one location and get a little bit of everything, so we're kind of thinking that might be a good idea," said Zucca owner Cage Harp.
Visitors to the area are hoping the new space will boost the local spots they love.
Cary Mark is in town and is thinking of moving to Whitefish. He says he loves the way small businesses are being supported.
"I think it's a lot to give back to the community and see it grow and prosper. Give the little folks a chance to make their mark here on the area," said Mark.
Gatton hopes the market can do just that. He hopes to help locals thrive while giving them a place to call home.
"If we can do that and start a bunch of new little businesses and support some existing ones then that's fantastic," he said.
Currently the market features four vendors and two restaurants. They are actively seeking more vendors and are working on bringing in more short-term businesses.