Introducing Sebastien Bensidoun, the Face Behind Chicago French Market (Video)

At the grand opening of the Chicago French Market I had the chance to meet Sebastien Bensidoun, President of Bensidoun USA, a fourth generation French Market Developer firm.  The Bensidoun family expanded their operations from France to the United States, and now operate more than 95 open-air and indoor markets.  I was immediately impressed with their efforts to bring something back that has been lost in American culture- the local market.  As said by Sebastien:

"The bustling, one-stop market with individual artisans and purveyors has been a staple of life and culture for centuries in cities and towns across Europe, and was also a central feature of American communities leading up until World War II when modern supermarkets and big-box stores replaced them in most U.S. cities and towns.  As a result, the vitality, choice and entrepreneurial spirit offered by these markets nearly vanished here.  The new movement in America to support local farmers and artisans gives us an opportunity to bring this European-inspired marketplace back to life, and provide Chicago consumers and tourists with year-round, permanent access to their local bounty."

With the opening of the Chicago French Market in the MetraMarket, the Bensidoun family now operates 14 permanent and seasonal markets in Chicagoland: Geneva, Glencoe, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Lombard, Mokena, Niles, Villa Park, Western Springs, Wilmette, and Wheaton.  Here is a bit more from Sebastien on the new Chicago French Market: