Your City, Your Park, Help it Come to Life!

Photo Courtesy of Spaceboy Clothing

Photo Courtesy of Spaceboy Clothing

Humble Park at the corner of 4th & Shipley is about to not be so "humble" anymore! Thanks to a collaboration between The City of Wilmington, Downtown Visions and Sanchez of Spaceboy Clothing, the park will soon be filled with vendors, art and entertainment! 

The press is excited for what is to come, and the park is already receiving attention from Technical. ly Delaware and The News Journal! The very first event is a comedy show, scheduled for August 25th at 7 PM and we need YOUR help to prepare! Join your fellow neighbors and business owners in cleaning up the space for everyone to enjoy! We will be meeting on Saturday, August 12th from 9 AM- 1 PM. Feel free to let us know you are coming through our Facebook Event and be sure to spread the word by inviting your friends. This is your chance to be a part of the renaissance happening in your city!

Wilmington DE Community

Each future event at the park will not only provide incredible entertainment, it will be giving back to those who need it most. A hot dog stand ran by the Wilmington-based Rick VanStory Resource Center, a recovery-oriented peer center for people with psychiatric disabilities will provide food for sale for each of the shows. Additionally, each of the shows will be free to the public, and have a fundraising effort on-site for a special cause. The show on the 25th will raise funds for Ramona Robinson of Wilmington, who is battling breast cancer and is a family member of Sanchez of Spaceboy.

Have an idea for the park, or want to help contribute to its positive future that is going to affect hundreds of Wilmingtonians? Let us know!

Click the image above to watch a short video provide by Delaware Online on all of the progress made by the generous volunteers!

Click the image above to watch a short video provide by Delaware Online on all of the progress made by the generous volunteers!

Follow Spaceboy on Facebook and Instagram

Post by Julia Mason of Enthusiasm Lab

Meet Coffee Scientist Joey Lopes of Coffee Mode

coffee mode

When Joey Lopes makes a cup of coffee he does it with precision and finesse. “For a (regular) cup of coffee, we use 30 grams of freshly ground coffee, and 425 grams of water,” said Lopes, 25. “Milk is a personal choice, but if I were to prepare a customer’s coffee I would use approximately 2 ounces.”

“He’s a coffee scientist,” said Ben Cordova owner of Coffee Mode on 9th and Market. Before the coffee bar opened on October 2016, Cordova chose Lopes to manage the high-quality coffee bar located in the lobby of the Citizens Bank building. Lopes gets his barista expertise working two years at LOMA Cafe, reading, and interviewing coffee bar owners. He is one of three baristas at Coffee Mode.

“I enjoy serving something good and beautiful to someone,” he said. Coffee Mode embraces a coffee bar movement called third wave coffee that treats coffee as an artisan or craft beverage. A Cortado is one of Lopes’s favorite cups of coffee to make. It is made with a shot of espresso cut with an equal part of hot milk. Served in a Gibraltar glass, the beverage looks like a dessert with white steam milk swirls on top, but the rich coffee aroma gives it away.

Lopes, who a year ago moved from Maryland to Wilmington, said coffee bars are invaluable to the city of Wilmington because they offer an informal social venue for community and cultural enrichment. “We have meaningful conversations with customers about politics, technology, and world issues,” he said.

Most of Coffee Mode’s customers are lawyers or business people who stop by in the morning or later in the day for a break. When a frequent customer walks in, Lopes knows what to serve without exchanging a word. Just a nod and a smile is all it takes, he said.

Besides specialty coffees, which are sourced from Elixir Coffee Company in PA, Coffee Mode offers organic teas, smoothies, ciders, ice brew coffee, and fresh baked goods-some gluten-free.

Coffee Mode

919 N Market St
Wilmington DE 19801
(302) 660-1203

Owner: Ben Cordova

Follow Coffee Mode on Facebook

By Adriana Camacho-Church

Downtown Visions Contributing Writer

Next Fab Wilmington's New Playground for Creatives

Wilmington DE Next Fab Creative makerspace

Creatives rejoice! Your exclusive clubhouse is now right in your backyard and offers a multi platform innovative space for you to make your wildest ideas a reality!

Have you ever had a brilliant idea but wasn't sure how to execute it, or where to start?

Next Fab is the answer. Newly opened at 503 N Tatnall Street, Wilmington, DE, Next Fab has all the tools you need from creating your piece to getting it on shelves and in front of the public.

Offering eight unique membership options, Next Fab has something for everyone. From the individual who wants to dip their toes in the water and explore a particular trade or class, to the full-blown corporation that needs a creative space and the newest technology available. You can even bring your visionary child, ages  10-17 to set their imagination on fire!

makers space wilmington de

When you join, you have access to all three Next Fab locations. The one in Wilmington specifically offers 3D printing and scanning, design software, electronics, laser cutting, engraving and a state-of-the-art woodworking facility.  The additional facilities also offer textiles, jewelry making, metalworking and 2D printing and photography. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, but know you have a stellar idea? They can even make the products for you!

What separates Next Fab from the competition is their team. Comprised of life-long tradesmen and women, their human knowledge resource cannot be beat. They are willing to drill down the process and make it as easy as possible for you to make your dream project a reality. 

What we love? The Next Fab team and members have collaborated on some extraordinary projects to change the world.  From creating specialized helmets to deaf/hearing impaired assistive devices, solving current issues with futuristic technology is happening at Next Fab. While touring the facility we even got to see some 3D printed "whistles" that are used by the paralyzed to communicate.

Next Fab has already started making an impact in Wilmington, helping create the Wilmington Green Box Kiosk. 

We can't wait to see what the ingenious individuals of our city come up with next at Next Fab!!

Check out the latest items created at Next Fab.


Learn more about joining Next Fab and their classes.

Follow Next Fab on Facebook.

Follow Next Fab on Instagram

Post by Julia Mason of Enthusiasm Lab

next fab wilmington de
Next Fab Wilmington DE

Downtown Business Spotlight, Dave Bart, of Jerry's Artarama

Dave Bart is pictured in orange on the right, with his incredible team. 

Dave Bart is pictured in orange on the right, with his incredible team. 

If Dave Bart is not pricing stock when a customer walks into Jerry’s Artarama then he could be unloading trucks or hosting a local art event. The 54-year-old store manager describes himself as an octopus that reaches out beyond the discount art-supply store.

Besides donating easels, brushes or frames to the Creative Vision Factory, which provides therapy through art, the shop hosts or helps advertise local festivals, events, and programs, like the People’s Festival, the Unity Rally at the Jewish Community Center, and Wilmington’s monthly Art Loop.

“We are growing and will continue to grow as the city matures,” said the University of Delaware graduate, who grew up in the state. “I was here before the Blue Rocks Stadium was built and before the Riverfront transformed from oil tanks and brown fields.’’

In 2013 Jerry’s Artarama opened on Market Street. It is part of a specialty art-supply chain founded in 1968 by Jerry Goldstein. There are sixteen stores nationwide. The Delaware location is the only art-supply store in the downtown area. Its customers range from beginners to well known artists. A portion of the shop’s business comes from the sale of art kits to Delaware College of Art and Design students.

Art students and professional artists work at Jerry’s. Donna Cusano, 51, an award-winning artist and Jerry’s assistant manager, says she uses her skills on the job every day. If a customer is not sure which paintbrush to buy, she is there to help. “It depends on what the customer’s goals and priorities are,” said Cusano.

The store is open seven days a week. It offers live and online demonstrations and promotions as well as professional framing and shipping. “If we promise you something, we’ll give it to you,” said Bart. “If we don’t have it we’ll order it.”

Follow Jerry's Artarama on Facebook

By Adriana Camacho-Church

Downtown Visions Contributing Writer

Feeding Minds, Bodies and Souls…Getting Deep with Jason Aviles of The Wilmington Green Box

Wilmington Green Box

Jason Aviles doesn't stop. From the Bronx, New York, he takes the word "entrepreneur" to an entire new level. From creating his own interdisciplinary Bachelors Degree in Youth Development & Social Change to running four businesses, he has some useful and touching advice for us all.

Learn more on how he went from a revamped Victorian push cart to revolutionizing healthy eating and nutrition in the City of Wilmington at 420 N Market Street at Wilmington Green Box.

Wilmington Green Box was made possible by funding from The Buccini/Pollin Group as well as funding and business development assistance from Main Street Wilmington. Inspired to start a business in Wilmington like Jason?  There are a variety of complimentary services Downtown Visions has to get you started. Click here to learn more.

Q. Where did the idea for the green box stem from?

A. “Born out of a void that we saw in the central Wilmington community of there not being access to healthy goods and produce. While looking for creative ways to fill this void, we wanted to develop a model that was a win, win, win. We wanted to do more…a creative strategy to help other challenged areas, such as youth education and employment. We felt like the local youth needed positive outlets that gave them not only experience but also employed them so they could contribute to their household income. We targeted inner city kids who could really benefit from the program. So the concept is influential in four areas, food access,  youth employment, education and purchasing local. We wanted to strengthen the local small business community economy.”

Wilmington Green Box Emmanuel

Q. How have you seen the box change the lives of individuals working for the company as well as customers?

A. “It has been transformational, Emmanuel is our poster child. He took Wilmington Green Box to a whole new level with his charisma, enthusiasm and willingness to learn. It has been a transformation for him to be with positive older male and female role models and interacting with customers on a daily basis helps build his social skills.

For our customers, we are not just selling a product. Our customers aren’t just buying a food, they are buying into a mission and an organization that really cares for the community and is giving directly back to the community. You feel good supporting youth, youth education and local food companies.”

Q. How has the Wilmington Green Box evolved since you just started out?

A. “We first started with a 1940’s ice box from a Victorian home. We put wheels on it, packed it with healthy goods and that’s how we started out. We didn’t have a storefront or space. We just brought the goods directly to people. It was a perfect introduction, we were able to get in front of so many individuals. Some didn’t know a carrot could make juice. We were educating people on how to be healthy. We also were able to educate our team on product knowledge. After a successful summer doing it that way;we saw we had a demand and we wanted to fulfill it in a consistent way. That’s how the location we are at now was born. The location on Market was designed to provide a place people could come to a consistent basis and activate a space that had not been utilized. We wanted to provide an additional green space and complimentary Wifi to the public. We looked at it as a solution for those we could serve and for us. We built the space and kiosk as an experience.”

Wilmington Green Box greenspace wilmington de

Q. What do you see for the future of the green box?

A. “The future, I see us moving into an indoor location where we can have collaboration with a smoothie bar, café, and co-op style grocery store that can serve bulk health food that continues to serve local and bi-local markets. That is the direction we are going into.”

juiced libations wilmington green box

Q. What is your favorite food or drink served at the Green Box?

A. “It’s a tie…I would say, the fruit salads….they are really fresh and awesome from Sol Fruit, a great local organization. Alkaline state of mind from Juiced Libations is another favorite. It is a green juice that gets me going. I often end up eating a fruit salad and drinking one of those on busy days.”

Q. What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?

A. “A challenge is the education portion. Creating a culture and mindset of wellness. It hasn’t been on the forefront of initiatives. Locals aren’t aware of how to live a greater, quality life through nutrition. Exposing people on how to become healthy can be a challenge. We are motivated by it though, so it is not so much a challenge as it is an opportunity. This is the first concept of its kind here. We have seen incredible progress of people learning because of what we offer.”

Q. You wear a lot of hats, Project Director at Wilmington Green Box, Executive Director at Wilmington Placemakers Inc., Co-founder at Artist Ave Station and CEO at FLYOGI. How do you keep it all together and organized?

A. “At the foundation of everything I do is yoga. I was taught yoga is a lifestyle... how you treat others, yourself, nutrition. Everything I do is a part of my practice. The businesses I engage in are an extension of myself. Looking at the voids that exist and trying to fulfill them. I’m not doing it alone, it is a team of us. I have a wonderful team, John Naughton , James Thompson and Emmanuel are equally contributing. When I’m stressed out, I lean on them. We all lean on each other. Our team is on the same page.”

Q. How are you able to remain so Zen? Is it all that yoga?

A. “Yes. Everything really is a practice. It is a constant growing process.”

Q. What is your favorite aspect of the City of Wilmington?

A. “My favorite aspect is the growth that is happening. Wilmington is a growing place. It is in that threshold and it is exciting to be a part of. It is good to know not everything has happened yet. Those are our opportunities to fill those gaps. That is why I chose Wilmington. I wanted to contribute to that.”

Q. What advice would you give to entrepreneur wanting to start a business in downtown Wilmington?

A. “I would say, know what you want and know who wants it. Downtown Wilmington is a market that is used to doing what it is used to doing. You have to know the market and who you want to serve. You have to be consistent and offer high quality products and services. Make sure you know how to market. You are going to have to spend a lot of time marketing. Everyone here is a creature of habit. Introducing new things, you have to have creative ways to put it in front of them.”

Learn more about The Wilmington Green Box

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Post by Julia Mason of Enthusiasm Lab

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