Gift Northside Marketplace

Northside Marketplace: A Hidden Gem for Shoppers in Downtown Akron

Imagine etsy was a brick and mortar where you could walk from shop to shop and grab one-of-a-kind gifts instantly - that's northside.

By Mona Abdeldaim

The entrance to the Northside Marketplace shops, photo by Mona Abdeldaim.

Imagine a place where you can shop for unique, locally sourced products at your own pace, without the hassle of hunting down individual vendors, waiting in long lines, or waiting for online shipping. That's the beauty of Northside Marketplace, a gem located in the Northside District of Downtown Akron, Ohio.

My first visit to Northside Marketplace, I was struck by its warm and inviting atmosphere. The market is housed in a spacious area, with vendors' booths arranged in a semicircle around a central seating area, which is perfect for taking a break and enjoying your purchases.

As I walked through the market, I was amazed by the wide variety of products offered. From handmade crafts and artisanal foods to one-of-a-kind fashion items, there was something for everyone. I was especially drawn to the unique selection of flavored honey sold by Akron Honey and the beautiful plants on display sold by Lepley & Co. 

I was also impressed by the affordability of the products at Northside Marketplace. Many of the items were priced lower than I expected for handmade and local items.

Of course, the best part of shopping at Northside Marketplace is supporting local businesses. 

As you explore the Northside Marketplace, you'll discover a diverse range of vendors, each with their unique story and offerings. Whether you're looking for one-of-a-kind gifts or unique treasures for your home, you're sure to find something special at Northside Marketplace.

Meet (a few of) my favorite vendors:

Lepley & Co. Photo by Julie Cajigas.

Lepley & Co.

Lepley & Co. is a plant shop and boutique founded by Justin Lepley in 2020. It started as a small roadside plant stand in Lepley's front yard and has since grown to three locations in Akron, Massillon, and Uniontown, Ohio.

Lepley says that the business would have never grown out of his front yard if he didn't have a safe bridge between hiring an entire staff and just starting out of his yard. So, he started a blog called Lepley & Co. and wrote about things he liked, such as house plants, gardening, and recipes.

One of his blog posts was about a mint plant that had gone wild in his backyard. People then started coming to his house so frequently to buy his plants that they were killing his grass. However, Lepley was having so much fun that he decided to keep it going.

Lepley & Co. is now a thriving business that offers a wide variety of house plants, pots and planters, plant care supplies, and other goods. Lepley is passionate about plants and loves helping people find the perfect plants for their homes and lifestyles.

"I wanted to create a safe space for people to come and learn about plants," Justin said. "I know that plants can be intimidating, but I want to show people that they're easy to care for and that they can bring a lot of joy into your life."

Akron Honey Company

In the world of honey, Akron Honey stands out as a brand that goes beyond just providing a sweet treat. They are passionate about creating unique flavor experiences that elevate your everyday dishes and bring a touch of excitement to your holiday meals.

They are committed to using the purest, unfiltered local honey, ensuring that you get the most authentic and flavorful experience. Their innovative approach to honey production has led to a range of flavors, each designed to complement specific ingredients and cuisines.

This Thanksgiving, surprise your loved ones with Akron Honey's Apple Cinnamon Honey, a perfect pairing for your turkey. Its warm, inviting aroma and subtle sweetness will add a touch of elegance to your food. Or, indulge in their Bourbon Barrel Honey, a rich and complex honey infused in bourbon barrels, giving a depth of flavor that will pair perfectly with your granola and yogurt.

Akron Honey is more than just honey; it's an invitation to explore the world of flavors and create culinary masterpieces. Their commitment to quality, innovation, and sustainability makes them a brand that truly cares about the food you put on your table.

So, this holiday season, make Akron Honey your go-to source for unique and flavorful honey. Visit their website at to discover their complete range of products.

Images from Northside Marketplace's Akron Honey stand by Mona Abdeldaim.

India Ink
India Ink Tattoo Company is arguably the only black-owned tattoo shop in Akron. The owner, India, is an artist who also builds her own furniture and plays the guitar. She opened her shop at Northside Marketplace in December 2022.

"I love the freedom of working for myself," India said. "I can make my own schedules, set my own prices, and just do whatever I want. But I also didn't want to be on an island. I wanted to be part of a community. And that's what I found at Northside Marketplace."

India is passionate about her work and loves helping people express themselves through tattoos. 

"I love being a tattoo artist," India said. "It's so rewarding to be able to help people create something that they will cherish forever."

She is also committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for all clients.

"I want everyone to feel welcome in my shop," India said. "No matter who you are or what you look like, I want you to feel comfortable and safe here."

Above: India's paternal aunt and her husband appear in the shop. Photos of the shop by Mona Abdeldaim. Photos of India courtesy of India Ink.

A shopping destination for everyone...

With its diverse range of products, affordable prices, and commitment to supporting local businesses, Northside Marketplace is a shopping destination that everyone can enjoy. Whether you're a seasoned shopper or a casual browser, you're sure to find something special at Northside Marketplace.

Come and explore the unique, locally sourced products at Northside Marketplace, located at 21 Furnace St., Akron, OH 44308 or online at

The market is typically open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays, and is closed on Mondays. Special holiday hours may apply.

Other Northside Marketplace vendors to visit:

To reach content author Mona Abdeldaim, email her here.