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Merchants Taking Over South Philly’s Italian Market

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Change is coming to South Philadelphia’s iconic 9th Street Italian Market, now to be managed by the market’s merchants.

It’s a sea change, says Michelle Gambino, of the South 9th Street Business Association:

Michelle Gambino (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

Michelle Gambino (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

“Come 2014, we will be, sort of the managers of all the curb market stands.”

Gambino says a committee of stand stakeholders is writing a guidebook — a vision for the future  — which may include organic food, an artist, kid-friendly stuff — not just to fill empty stall spaces, but expand offerings:

“Now we can bring people in who can make it better for shoppers.”

Shopper Jennifer Jordan loves the market, but “I’m concerned that as you make improvement, it’s easy to make improvements for one demographic and not another,” she said.

Gambino says the watch-phrase is “keep the tradition going” to please both the market’s longtime and new patrons.

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