Grape Country Marketplace

Grape Country Market Place featuring Welches grape field

About Us

Downtown North East, Inc. (DNE) was formed in 2009 in a collaborative effort to revitalize the central shopping area.  Among many projects that showcase the local history, agricultural influence and creative lakeside culture that make North East, PA a vibrant and attractive place to do business, volunteers have worked tirelessly to create a venue that incorporates the flavors and art of the area to satisfy the palate and the soul.

Grape Country Marketplace (GCM) featuring Welch's & More opened in September 2012 in a former bank building built in the late 1800's in the heart of downtown.  The building housed Mercyhurst University’s law enforcement training academy and radio station WYNE before Mercyhurst donated it to DNE.  Volunteers created a retail complex that included a local products store, wine shop and a restaurant, which was replaced in 2014 by a larger restaurant, The Cork 1794.  By 2015, The Cork 1794 was ready for expansion and DNE sold the building to the restaurant owner, and moved next door to 15 West Main, the site of a custom framing shop.

GCM features locally made Welch's juice and jelly products, memorabilia, and other local products -- along with works created by dozens of regional artists, artisans and authors.

DNE's initial project was taking over the responsibility for parking meter flower pots, adding more each year.  DNE then introduced grape and cherry banners sponsored by local businesses, individuals and organizations on downtown light posts as well as winter banners; created an information kiosk in the main square park; spearheaded a mural featuring North East landmarks and activities, and, in 2014, created a facade matching-grant program that assisted 15 businesses with updating their facades and enhancing the appearance of downtown.

Five years after startup, DNE continues with its gratifying mission and growing list of successes.