Things are really starting to bloom in Olde Towne Portsmouth as the new year kicks off.

Bloom Coworking has partnered with the city’s economic development authority and Portsmouth Partnership to create Bloom Market, a pop-up shop and business incubator. Featuring locally made and unique goods, the retail market will open in early March at 719 High St.

Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Part of open coworking space at Bloom Coworking will be converted into a staffed and managed 1,200-square-foot storefront.
Michelle Wren, executive director of Portsmouth Partnership, said the group of volunteer business, professional and civic leaders is excited about the initiative that has been germinating for some time.

“We’ve got lots of opportunities in Portsmouth for retail space,” Wren said. “Retail’s changed and so people don’t need huge 2,000 to 3,000 square feet — they need smaller retail space.”
Eager to help home-based businesses and those with an online presence, Wren said the partners want to see if they can convert those clicks to bricks. Applicants must be Portsmouth residents and have a city business license with professional logo, packaging and website.

Bloom Market is looking for people who are already producing shelf-ready products such as packaged food or drinks, jewelry, cosmetics, clothing, candles, artwork, plants or home goods, Wren said. Items will be stocked for six months with the option to reapply for an additional six months.

Interested vendors can apply for one of the 20 spaces by Jan. 31 at Each business owner pays a $49 monthly fee and receives 100% of their sales.

Bloom Market, in conjunction with the Retail Alliance, will include educational programming, training and mentorship so vendors can learn the retail side of business, test out the market in relation to their product and manage and grow their business.

“We’re looking for people who already have a presence but really never thought about the brick-and-mortar piece … but have the capability to grow,” Wren said.