A business built on community concern – Bellaire's Market M88

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Photo by Linda Gallagher

Christina Balko, owner and proprietor of Bellaire's newest business – Market M88, which has filled the spot vacated by Moka deli and Starlight Lounge at the corner of Bridge and Cayuga streets.



BELLAIRE – When the popular Moka deli and Starlight Lounge in downtown Bellaire unexpectedly closed last spring, the entire community of Bellaire was saddened as well as concerned about the busy summer tourist season ahead and how the village and its businesses would be affected.

Instead of waiting for potential new business renters to contact them, Bellaire residents Trish and Doug Fox, owners of the building at the corner of Bridge and Cayuga that had housed the restaurant and lounge, heard those concerns and immediately took it upon themselves to find another food service business to take up residence and begin operations as soon as possible. 

The result was the Market M88 delicatessen, bakery and coffee house, which opened in early July.

"I have always dabbled in cooking creations, and always wanted my own place,” said Christina Balko, who opened the business with her husband Alan. “It was my dream to have my own shop here in Bellaire, and Trish and Doug helped my dream come true."

Raised in Kalkaska, Balko and her husband moved their two sons from Nashville, where they resided for 18 years, back north to the Bellaire area two years ago.

For several months prior to opening Market M88, Balko had been working with Christy Wilson of downtown Bellaire's Hello Vino wine shop.

"Christy had approached me last fall about offering foods to go with the wines she sells, so I started exploring with charcuterie trays and other deli items," she said.

Then Trish Fox approached her about opening her own business.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at: http://www.antrimreview.net/subscribe/




The Review


Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 313
Bellaire, MI 49615
Phone: 231-533-5651
Fax: 231-533-4662
Physical Address: 
4470 S. M-88 Hwy.
Bellaire, MI 49615

View Map

Email Us

Facebook Facebook Twitter

Please Login for Premium Content