At one time the Riverfront shops, a series of warehouse looking buildings around the corner from Wilmington’s Amtrak station represented Wilmington’s forgotten past. They also represented its future.
There are few people there who saw the potential. Norrawit Jeenwong and his family came from Cleveland to bring a taste of Thai cuisine to the region. After operating at the Booth’s Corner Farmers Market, they decided in 2000 to become one of the original businesses at the Riverfront Market in Wilmington.
“The first year was a little scary,” Jeenwong says. “But we just kept pushing and pushing, and working hard together as a family, and we got through it. Now we’re here ten years, and looking to expand in Wilmington.”
With the 2010 holiday shopping season underway, the Riverfront Market celebrated its ten years of operation on the Christina Riverfront near the Wilmington Amtrak Station. The building dates back to the 1800s and was previously used for purposes ranging from shipbuilding to warehousing furniture. Vis itors experience European-style shopping at individual stalls including a traditional butcher, fruit and vegetable stands, a flower market, a gourmet coffee stand, and a variety of cuisine.
“I think all of the vendors and the people who are here should be proud of this place,” said Mayor James Baker.
“It’s got some character, it’s got some personality,” said Riverfront Development Corporation Executive Director Michael Purzycki.
Jeenwong says his diners appreciate the one-on-one attention.
“It makes them feel like, hey, it’s a place where people actually care about their produce and service,” he says.