Local Foodie Review
I walked into DeSoto Central Market in Downtown Phoenix, and I could immediately smell the delicious medley of foods from the different vendors, I could hear the faint chatter from the guests as they spoke about the quality of the food, and I saw the welcoming and open layout of the event space.
DeSoto Central Market is a food hall, an event space that houses multiple tenants with the purpose of selling food and other goods, located in the Roosevelt Row community in Downtown Phoenix.
The concept of food halls is not a new concept, more commonly known as food courts the trend is only starting to get popular, according to DCM’s Executive Chef Stephen Jones.
“What makes DeSoto different is the food and what the food says about the people coming in,” Jones said.
“Customers at DCM can experience quality food made with quality ingredients.”
Jones is the Executive Chef for DCM Burger Joint, a burger and sandwich food vendor inside of DeSoto, and is also the lead chef at the Larder + the Delta, a homestyle southern comfort food vendor with a twist.
Maddy Ryan, a junior studying at ASU, frequents DCM because, “The environment is so welcoming and the food is unique and so tasty.”
Food courts are commonly found with chain restaurants inside of malls, so the idea of food halls differs because it takes small food vendors and gives them a platform to serve their food, without having to operate an entire restaurant and pay the cost of running one, too.
Not all food halls are small, but DeSoto tailors their experience to an audience that appreciates “hole in the wall restaurants” as well as a “chill, yet social experience,” said Chef Jones.
“It’s important to me that people have a nice experience all around and that is why I like to have the saying, ‘Make it Nice,’ in anything written about my restaurants,” Jones said.
Skyler Scott, DCM Account Executive for The Knight Agency, says that doing Public Relations for DeSoto is not a hard job.
“They have loyal followers who are very interactive with the vendors and encourage other people who are like them to come as well,” Scott said.
DeSoto Central Market is a competitor with CityScape Phoenix, who has a similar variety of food with a similar consumer market.
Scott says, “We are reaching out to people who are like ‘food-hipsters,’ kind of like foodies.”
DCM is chef Jones life, although he has other locations for his stores.
“When I come to DCM, I try to make everything nice. It’s just me. It is how I do things. I make it nice,” Jones said.
DCM also operates as an event space for private events, with an outdoor patio are and upstairs tables and meeting spaces.
Jones said, “I am reliable for feeding people, I do not want to disappoint.”