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Our Story.

NewBo City Market is a dynamic public space promoting health, happiness, and well-being in the heart of the New Bohemia District near downtown Cedar Rapids. As a gathering place, business incubator, and event center, NewBo City Market services many different needs for a wide spectrum of people and organizations.

This remarkable nonprofit organization is home to unique food and retail business start-ups; farmers and artisans markets; and numerous community arts, entertainment, and educational events. There is always something new and different happening at NewBo.

NewBo City Market is a showcase of the local talent and resources throughout Iowa. We support entrepreneurship and small business. We are proponents of the farm-to-table movement and locally-sourced foods and products. We directly address food insecurity in our community and educate on nutrition, wellness, and urban renewal. We are about consumers talking to, learning from, and developing relationships with local producers, and about neighbors interacting with one another.

More than anything, NewBo City Market is a living example of SUSTAINABILITY and RESILIENCE. Sustainability is about balancing community needs with environmental impact. NewBo City Market strives to be a model for sustainable business practices: a rain barrel waters our garden, electric vehicles are free to charge up in our lot, and our facility is zero-waste (even the “plastic” forks are compostable).

Resiliency is about how we meet and overcome challenges, be they man-made or natural. There is no better example of a resilient neighborhood in Cedar Rapids than New Bohemia. In the late 1800s, it was an agricultural and manufacturing hub, home to a meatpacking plant that stood for over a century. Our building was originally a warehouse and metalworks for Iowa Manufacturing and later Quality Chef Foods.

Czech Village and what is now New Bohemia was home to the large Czech and Slovak communities that settled in Cedar Rapids to work both here and throughout the city.  Changes in the economy brought these businesses to a close, however the district maintained it cultural and entrepreneurial identity through this and other urban challenges. 

Then in 2008 the Cedar River flooded, ravaging large sections of Cedar Rapids and putting our location under 13 feet of flood water.

NewBo City Market, New Bohemia, and Czech Village are a testament to our resilient city. The flooded and blighted Quality Chef plant was renovated to become NewBo’s Rotary Hall. Our Market Yard has become the neighborhood park where you can enjoy a concert, start off on a bike ride, or enjoy the Iowa weather. Our district is experiencing a renaissance of new construction and new business, local artists and entrepreneurs helping to replace what was lost in the flood.

Today, NewBo City Market is a community hub of activity designed to enlighten, inspire, and entertain. We are a destination for local producers and consumers to gather. Most importantly, our friends, neighbors, and out-of-town visitors continue to return to live, work, and play in New Bohemia.

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