Pork purveyor Saddleberk joining North Market Bridge Park in Dublin
The empty merchant spaces at North Market Bridge Park continue to fill up, and the newest vendor, a butcher, ticks off a lot of boxes considered essential to a public market.
The Dublin market, 6750 Longshore St., recently announced that Urbana-based Saddleberk, a heritage-breed pork producer, is expanding into the market, offering a one-stop shop for Ohio-raised meats, produce, spices and dairy products.
Saddleberk, which is owned by Greg Lehman, Dave Rigo and John Sommers, specializes in raising high-end Berkshire pigs.
Its story starts with Watershed Distillery, which was founded in 2010 by Rigo and Lehman. In 2013, Lehman launched the new venture on his own, and after learning more about the business, Rigo sold his share in Watershed, becoming Saddleberk’s CEO in 2018.
In recent years, the pork purveyor has expanded its offerings into Kroger and Heinen's grocery stores, as well as other specialty stores in Ohio. The new North Market space will be Saddleberk’s first retail shop.
On the protein side, Saddleberk will serve as the market’s butcher, offering its own pork products, as well as beef, lamb, chicken and cold cuts from other purveyors. Rigo said two partners for sourcing proteins include Dee Jay's Custom Butchering out of Fredericktown and E.R. Boliantz Co. in Ashland.
At 1,000 square feet, Saddleberk’s space will be the largest in the Dublin market.
Farm-fresh produce, eggs, dairy products, spices and other specialty grocery items also will be available there.
In addition, Saddleberk will offer prepared foods that Rigo describes as “reimagined Americana,” with soups, sandwiches (including for breakfast), burgers, poutine and shakes. The Saddleberk space will have counter seating, as well.
Joining the Saddleberk team as chef and general manager is Jack Dale Bennett, a Gahanna native and former Watershed Kitchen & Bar sous chef who is making his return after working for NoHo Hospitality Group in Detroit.
Rigo and Lehman have known North Market executive director Rick Harrison Wolfe for years through Watershed, so when the market’s previously announced butcher shop/grocer – the Dublin Farmer’s Daughter – pulled out because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Rigo said, “it just seemed like the right place, the right time to do it.”
“To truly start fresh (with a) brick-and-mortar somewhere didn’t feel right," Rigo said. "Bridge Park developer Crawford Hoying has done such a fantastic job in creating a community there. You go and there’s something for everyone and quite a few apartments and condos ... and now the connection to old Dublin with the walking bridge.
"It’s a beautiful concept that’s worked really well. We’re really pleased to be a part of it now.”