July 2 2014 12:00 AM

Don Poncho Market/River Town Adventures

When Don Pancho Market opened south of downtown Lansing in April, it created a whole new set of possibilities for downtown denizens looking for a local food mart. Downtown isn’t exactly known for its fresh food options; besides Sunset Market, 618 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, Don Pancho is pretty much it for walkable markets.

Owner/operators Francisco “Pancho” and Luz Cervantes opened the market after spending seven years running a Grand Rapids jewelry store. He was a butcher in Mexico; when they moved to Grand Rapids in 2004, they first opened a jewelry store before he went back to work as a butcher. Luz Cervantes said her husband quickly gained a positive reputation.

“Customers would tell them to go to Lansing and open a meat market,” she said.

“(They would say) the clientele would want one.”

The 4,000-square-foot space on Cedar Street was formerly a boxing gym, but the space only needed minimal interior upgrade to become a market. Don Pancho also features fresh food to go and authentic Mexican items, such as Mexican sodas, rice, beans. There are also baked goods from Tres Hermanos Bakery in Grand Rapids and Amaro’s in Wyoming, Mich.

“There are several little Mexican stores throughout Lansing, but none with a meat department,” Cervantes said. “Our best seller is the meat. We have the cuts that Mexican people are looking for.”

Adventure time Joining the growing list of Lansing-area business ventures utilizing the local waterways for recreation — including the Power of Water and the Grand Fish — comes River Town Adventures. River Town is a new kayak and canoe rental business located outside the Lansing City

Market on the banks of the Grand River.

Co-owners Paul Brogan and Nate Williams offer river trips on the Red Cedar and Grand rivers from all a wide range of water entry spots: Williamston, Okemos, MSU campus, REO Town, downtown Lansing, Old Town, and Grand Ledge. The duo held a grand opening last month at the Lansing City Market.

Customers can choose from a range of pre-set tours or find their own adventures.

(Alexandra Harakas contributed to this story.)

Don Pancho Market 2120 S. Cedar St., Lansing 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily (517) 374-0044, facebook. com/donpanchomarket

River Town Adventures 325 City Market Drive, Lansing (outside Lansing City Market) 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday- Sunday; closed Monday (517) 253-7523, rivertownadventures.com, facebook.com/rivertownmi