Small Businesses Supporting Small Businesses – The Hi & Mighty Distillery Pop-Up Markets

Small Businesses Supporting Small Businesses – The Hi & Mighty Distillery Pop-Up Markets

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

The State Fairgrounds has a lot going on right now. The Indy Fuel are in the middle of their season (make sure to buy a couple of Indiana craft beers from Black Dog Brewing and others while you’re there), the Christmas Nights of Lights has a constant line of cars, and the IUPUI basketball teams have games throughout the month.

However, one could argue that the most important events are taking place on Dec. 7, 14, and 21 in the Southwest Pavilion. Hi & Mighty Distillery is hosting three holiday pop-up markets at their facility. Free parking, cocktails, food samples from different chefs, artists and small business showing off their wares, all in time to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Hi & Mighty doesn’t have a tasting room as of this date, but despite that, they have found a way to bring people to their location, and it’s more than just spirits fans. By having other small businesses involved in their pop-up markets, they are expanding their customer base, building relationships with patrons, they can market test ideas without a brick & mortar yet, and they can make more sales (it is why they are in business after all).

image credit: Hi & Mighty Distillery

Since they haven’t opened their tasting room, the Hi & Mighty event is technically a pop-up store, even though it is their own space. Pop-up stores and markets (having several pop-ups at once place at one time) have become more important post-Covid, given the inability of some businesses to get storefronts because of the poor economy, because of people’s increasing reliance on shopping from their phone, and due to difficulties in getting adequate employee help.

So, given these circumstances, pop-up markets are a great way to help small businesses and craftspeople (of which artisan distillers are definitely a member). Small businesses HAVE to band together these days if they want to survive. Pop-up markets are a great way for like-minded people to raise each other up and benefit themselves and others. It’s a synergistic effect, not just additive.

Pop-up markets bring your customers to other businesses, bring their customers to your business, and help you build relationships between and among small businesses. There is strength in numbers, and one small business might have the advice that will save another – but they have to have a relationship or that knowledge will never be passed on to who may need it.

One business may host a pop-up market, and then it could move to a different participant’s location, so that new customers are brought to everyone’s location over time. It’s also likely that different small businesses will find novel ways to collaborate in additional projects that will raise all boats over time. Co-owner of Hi & Mighty Distillery, Jamie Fahrner, told me, “We love the idea of pop ups because it’s a chance for many different creative businesses to come together and support one another. As you know, running a small business is not for the feint of heart so if we can band together to give our collective customers a night or afternoon of fun, it’s a win for everyone.”

The Hi & Mighty pop-up market. image credit: Walter

Walter and I visited the Hi & Mighty Pop-up market last evening (the 14th) and we met a lot of great small business people, were introduced to many new brands, and generally had a great time. The participating businesses included Turchetti’s Salumeria, Pup and the Pepper hot sauces, Lux & Ivy vintage goods, Approximate Pottery, the Lick Ice Cream company, candles from Lesley Saligoe Botanicals, Sun Bean Roastery coffees, and many more. We enjoyed Hi & Mighty cocktails as we toured the market, and got a good look at the Hi & Mighty distilling system. Too bad you missed it (unless you were there, and if so, we enjoyed seeing you).

Luckily, you still have an opportunity to support small business by attending the Hi & Mighty Distillery Pop-up market on the 21st from 5-9pm at 1202 East 38th Street Southwest Pavilion Indianapolis, IN 46205. Many of the small businesses and artisans will be different for the 21st, so even if you attended on the 7th or 14th, you’ll be able to find new things and support additional businesses. Tickets are free and are available at

Small businesses supporting small businesses by teaming up and coming together in a single place at a single time. Kind of sounds like an Indiana On Tap craft beverage festival doesn’t it? These events bring artists, musicians, craft alcohol producers, food trucks, small businesses, craftspeople, and community groups together to build their customer bases, expand their brand awareness, give people a reason to come find them in the future, and build relationships between small businesses. Plus, they make a lot of attendees happy, and bring attention to different towns and cities, showing that they have things to offer potential residents and to recruit businesses to town (including breweries, wineries, and distilleries).

The pop-up store, market, or event – a growing marketing mechanism for the heart of the American economy, small businesses that actually make things. Visit as many as you can, and start at Hi & Mighty next Thursday.

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