Gateway Market opened its doors on April 24, 2007, but the development of the Gateway Market project began years before as a collaboration between Paul Rottenberg (veteran hospitality executive fearless to business challenges) and George Formaro (a chef and baker passionate about food).
They were challenged by business partner, Jon Garnaas, President of Ladco Development, to create a food market truly unique to Des Moines. The two approached the project with naiveté but also with sheer determination and enthusiasm as they began to exchange ideas with friends such as Michael LaValle (Embassy Club), Bill Niman (Niman Ranch Meats) and Larry Cleverly (Cleverly Farms), as well as Chicago architect Grace Rappe. Ms. Rappe insisted that they needed the help of internationally renowned restaurant genius Marv Cooper. Mr. Cooper earned the reputation as the man behind some of the world’s most dramatic and successful culinary operations. Marv Cooper’s portfolio includes restaurants such as Panera Bread and Potbelly Sandwich Works, and his restaurant work in the Chicago area is legendary, with ventures such as: Nacional 27, Spiaggia, Nick & Tony’s, Kinzie Street Chophouse, Fogo De Chao, Nick’s Fishmarket and many others.
After a phone call with Paul Rottenberg, the designer was intrigued with the team and the growing food scene in Des Moines, and he agreed to visit Des Moines. Cooper commented during the visit, “Des Moines, like many cities that once were considered tertiary, is poised to give birth to a new sense of urbanity that goes hand in hand with culinary excitement.” He introduced Rottenberg and Formaro to Allen Kelson, food reviewer for Chicago Magazine, and they began to research and explore the best food markets in Chicago, San Francisco and Europe. This education by Cooper and Kelson was instrumental in laying the early foundation of the concept and mission of Gateway Market. Mr. Cooper passed away in 2006, but he remained loyal to the project, and before his death, introduced Rottenberg to Chicago architects Bill and Linda Chin who completed the design.
Paul Rottenberg said, “We approached creating Gateway Market like we approach all of our challenges—with passionate management and orchestration.” He added, “Our goal was to create the very best fresh food market available and find the best professionals to lead the way. I believe you have to make your own dream and sometimes it is only a phone call away. George and I picked up the phone and created Gateway Market.”
“I believe you have to make your own dream and sometimes it is only a phone call away.”
– Paul Rottenberg
The vision of Gateway Market is to share a passion for good food and exceptional service. Our food choices are impressive. Locally grown fresh produce, freshly baked artisan bread and pastries, world-class grocery, a collection of the finest cheeses, unique wines and chef-crafted meals-to-go are our hallmarks.
The Market Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a fun and lively neighborhood place. Our catering and box lunches offer the same quality and passion found in the café and market.
Let us know how we are doing and how we can serve you.