Late Monday night, three of the original four founders of Dose Market, the monthly curated indoor bazaar that features 40 to 50 top artisan design, fashion and food vendors, circulated an email saying they were no longer involved with the market. The note, which came from Heather Sperling, Emily Fiffer and Jessica Herman, who also work at Tasting Table, Daily Candy and Time Out Chicago, respectively, said that moving forward they were parting ways with the fourth founder, fashion stylist April Francis.
"We have been discussing this as a foursome for months and the three of us decided to move forward independently of Dose," Sperling said. "We've been trying to work things out among the four of us for quite some time and figure out the best path forward. We decided officially this was the best path."
No further explanation was given about why or how things broke down, but that, "We're so proud of what we created and the four of us worked so hard to build this market," Sperling said. The email also said any inquiries about the market should be directed to Francis, who is about to "star" in a new reality dating show called 3, set to debut on CBS this month.
Dose Market debuted in Chicago a year ago in June and was an immediate hit. The four founders had impeccable taste and the ability to pull together great vendors, which included respected chefs like Bill Kim, Mindy Segal, Jared Van Camp, Mark Steuer and Kristine Subido among others and restaurants like Lillie's Q, Doughnut Vault and Great Lake, oftentimes to debut new products or concepts.
Sperling explained that Francis approached her and Fiffer in early 2011 with the idea of doing a fashion market called Dose; the idea then to expand it to include food resulted from conversations between the three of them. However, Francis wrote to Eater Tuesday morning and said that Dose was the culmination of years working with and for small businesses in Chicago and made it sound like she was the sole creator by referring to the others as "contributors."
"We're sorry to see our valued contributors Emily, Heather and Jessica go—they have been a wonderful addition to the team and we wish them great success in their future endeavors," Francis wrote in the email. "They are always welcome to join us at Dose." So if the market was created by the four of them, who comprises the "we" and "us" Francis now refers to?
The next Dose was scheduled for July 29 and Francis said she "will continue to serve this incredible community and look forward to what's ahead." Sperling said they had a few people confirmed for the July market, but that the majority hadn't been locked down, due in part to Francis being away filming her show. Whether Francis will be able to wrangle the vendors on her own remains to be seen because the market's success seemed to exist from all the players involved.
Now that Sperling, Fiffer and Herman have moved on, it seems like this could, unfortunately, mark the end of Dose, at least as we've known it. While the trio has no concrete plans, Sperling said they hope to do something "just as creative and as exciting as Dose. We've forged so many fantastic relationships and are excited to continue supporting them and working with them in a new and exciting way."
· All Dose Market Coverage on Eater Chicago