By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 29, 2022 at 10:03 AM

Much has changed since the Sherman Phoenix opened in 2018 at 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave., establishing an entrepreneurial hub and community gathering space on the eastern edge of the Sherman Park neighborhood.

Among the most recent changes is an update to the name of the venue, which is now called the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace.

The new name was one of the suggestions put forward by the team from the Harvard Business School Field study, who spent time this summer taking an in depth look at the Sherman Phoenix. The thinking behind it was that the word “marketplace” helped to clarify the outward facing purpose for the central city entrepreneurial hub as a place where visitors can shop, eat, drink and take advantage of a variety of services.

“It breathes clarity into the expanding vision of the Sherman Phoenix, even as the legacy we have built continues,” said JoAnne Johnson-Sabir, co-developer of Sherman Phoenix Marketplace. “It offers us a more holistic way of viewing our community. This is a place for all who live, work and serve in community, and our engagement with our neighbors continues to grow and be re-imagined.”

In conjunction with the name change, the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace has also launched a contest, which gives the community an opportunity to vote for one of four new logo designs for the venue. Community members who vote in person will be entered to win prizes including a $50, $75, and $100 gift card to their favorite Sherman Phoenix Marketplace business. The winning logo will be announced via Facebook Live on September 4 during the Front Porch Music Series taking place at the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

True to its identity as a center of local commerce, the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace has upgraded its operations and facilities to better serve the community members, shoppers and business owners who visit the space. These upgrades have included the addition of an ATM that will not charge fees for BMO Harris Bank customers, an updated website, as well as expanded hours and expanded hours which extend through 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Community based programming

Last summer, the venue also expanded its reach and work by  launching its non-profit arm, the Sherman Phoenix Foundation, led by Executive Director Stacia Thompson. In addition to the foundation’s work to build inclusive and just economies for communities of color, it also heads up programming for the marketplace with a sharp focus on community-building.

That includes offerings like Tarsha Wiggins’ Youth Trap Therapy, which pairs urban hip hop music with conversations about mental health and emotional wellness,  the Front Porch Series live music events and BlackOut Pop-up Markets, which showcase local makers and entrepreneurs from the community every third Saturday of the month,. Upcoming markets take place on Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 19.

“We’ve been able to truly focus on value-added programming,” says Thompson “On small business success and on community-based events. We’ve also been able to partner with other like-minded orgranizations, including Discovery World, which brings the Kohls Design It! Lab to the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace.”

The foundation has also partnered with entities including BMO Harris Bank and Goodwill Industries, who offer personal finance and workforce development resources.  Banking experts are on-site at the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace on the first Tuesday of each month, from 11:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. Workforce development specialists are on-site at on the first Wednesday of each month, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Thompson says the rebranding and programming both contribute to an increased awareness of the variety of businesses which operate at the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace, from favorite food vendors like Funky Fresh Spring Rolls and Lush Popcorn to a wide range of other businesses from hair and beauty brands to business services.

All you need to do is check out the current list of over 25 black-owned businesses which occupy the space to see the growth which has taken place since the Sherman Phoenix was founded.

Food and drink

Buffalo Boss (wings and sides)
Confectionately Yours (desserts)
Funky Fresh Spring Rolls (baked spring rolls, specials)
Junior’s Smoked BBQ & Veggie Soul (smoked meats, vegetables)
Lush Gourmet Popcorn
Purple Door Ice Cream
Rise & Grind Cafe (breakfast and lunch offerings)
Who’s Cooking (pop-up kitchen run by multiple chefs)
Happy Days Day Bar (coming soon)

Hair and Beauty

2 Kings Barber Shop
Hello Beautiful (make-up services)
The Lash Factory (lash extension salon)
Milwaukee Tattoo Society (tattoo shop by Rahdahshay Dortch)
Rhoyal Trinity (natural hair care)
Salon Lavish (hair and nail salon)
Valencia Lynn Beauty Bar (nail spa)


Gener8tor Art (art)
Queen’s Closet (boutique clothing)
The Underground Makers Market (The Classic Shoppe, At Peace
Designs, Butterscotch Baby, and J. Riley)
Kujichagulia Producers Cooperative (entrepreneur collective)


9th Cloud Massage Therapy
AMRI Counseling
Bloom Art Therapies
Hands at Home (home care services)
Kujichagulia Producers Cooperative (herbal wellness, body care)

Business services

SoGreedy (event and lifestyle brand)
Around the Clock Protection (security)
Core Community Services (non-profit focused on health,
wellness, well-being)
CTRL+C (copy and printing services)
Tr3s Event Planning and Styling

Spaces at the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace, including the mezzanine and art gallery are also available to rent for private events. For more information, visit  

The Sherman Phoenix Marketplace is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.