Sophie Bolich

East Side Pop-Up Program Boosts Budding Food Businesses

Crossroads Collective recently unveiled the Pop-Up Corner, with plans to host a rotation of vendors for short-term stays.

By - Apr 20th, 2023 01:35 pm
Pop-Up Space at Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Photo courtesy of Crossroads Collective.

Pop-Up Space at Crossroads Collective, 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Photo courtesy of Crossroads Collective.

A new pop-up space at Crossroads Collective will allow up-and-coming food businesses to fine-tune their concepts in a low-stakes environment.

The Corner Pop-Up, formerly occupied by Triciclo Peru, will host vendors for two to six weeks — providing equipment, support and camaraderie from fellow entrepreneurs for the duration of the short-term stay.

Tots on the Street, the first vendor in the rotating lineup, launched on Wednesday at the East Side food hall, 2238 N. Farwell Ave. Hannah Kopplin runs the business, which started in 2019 and continues to operate a food truck too.

The potato-centric vendor offers a range of gluten-free, stuffed tater tots including loaded baked potato tots, buffalo chicken tots, original vegan tots and Clock Shadow Creamery cheese curd tots. The Crossroads Collective pop-up will also feature bags of frozen tots for an at-home fix.

The full Tots on the Street menu is available for walk-ins, take-out or delivery through April 29.

“Crossroads Collective aims to be a space where our community can come together and experience the best of what living in Milwaukee has to offer,” said Paige Hammond, general manager at the food hall, in a statement. “Whether new or industry veterans, we know that Milwaukee has so many talented chefs and restaurateurs that are ready to show our city what they’re made of.”

To celebrate the launch of its pop-up space, the food hall is offering business owners a chance to participate in the program at no cost. Pitches can be submitted to by May 15, with winners to be selected by May 22.

Selected businesses will be invited to set up shop in the Corner Pop-Up for one month — free of charge — with a $500 stipend “to bring their vision to life.”

The new pop-up program accelerates a founding principle of the food hall: to act as a launching pad for small businesses. Several vendors that started small at Crossroads Collective — including Scratch Ice Cream, Heaven’s Table BBQ, Ruta’s Vibrant Indian Cafe, Egg & Flour and Triciclo Peru — have since added new, stand-alone brick-and-mortar locations.

Crossroads Collective is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Current vendors include Egg & Flour, Atwood Hwy BBQ Company, Dia Bom, Scratch Ice Cream, Brew’d Burger Shop, The Counter and Nute’s Cafe, which is slated to open on Friday, April 21.

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