Let’s celebrate bringing small businesses and communities together.

Have you heard? The M&T Spotlight Shop is back! After bringing the shop online to support local businesses through the pandemic, we’re happy to announce that our in-person Spotlight Shop is back for the first time since 2019, starting in Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport, Connecticut and then rolling into other communities soon. 

The history of the M&T Spotlight Shop.

If you’re unfamiliar with the M&T Spotlight Shop, here’s a recap. In 2019, M&T Bank hit the sidewalks of the Baltimore inner harbor and created a pop-up shop where local small businesses could sell their goods and gain exposure for their brands. The shop was extremely successful, and we had exciting plans to roll out mobile pop-up shops like this in many of the additional communities that M&T serves. Then, the pandemic hit. So, we shifted by taking the Spotlight Shop online and creating a one-stop virtual shop for local businesses to showcase their offerings. People could support businesses in their hometown or ones across the map. We were quickly taken aback by how many people took to it. This year we’re proud to bring the in-person shop back while keeping the virtual version too. An exciting win-win, right?

Leisha Young, Owner of Leisha's Bakeria and her daughter, Janaya Young

What you need to know about this year’s physical Spotlight Shop.

On August 10, the first physical Spotlight Shop will launch at Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport, Connecticut located at 1 Bostwick Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605. . The shop will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. for you to shop (or eat). And what’s better than a tasty business to kick it off? That’s right, Leisha’s Bakeria, a boutique eatery located in the Bijou Square neighborhood of Downtown Bridgeport, is the first small business featured. Leisha’s is known for incredible coffee, savory breakfasts, satisfying lunches, and of course, an everchanging variety of baked goods. Hungry yet? Leisha’s will set up shop inside our fully remodeled mobile shop and run exclusively in the space for about two weeks. If you haven’t been to Captain’s Cove before, you can certainly make a day of it, from shopping at small businesses to having seaside adventures. Check out their site at

After the two-week run, a different Connecticut-based small business will take over and so forth throughout the summer and into fall. 

The Virtual Spotlight Shop lives on!

We’re celebrating the in-person Spotlight Shop, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t give an update on the virtual shop too! Today, you can still support hundreds of M&T small business customers around the region, as well as set your location to see what’s nearby. We are constantly adding new businesses to explore – from food and beverage vendors to community groups, so keep checking back!

How to become a Spotlight Shop business.

If you’re thinking “I want my business in the physical or virtual shop!”, all you need to do is be an M&T customer and fill out a short online application to be considered. All featured businesses will receive promotion via the Virtual Spotlight Shop, and a select few will have the opportunity to be featured in one or more of our in-person Spotlight Shop events. To apply to be part of the Spotlight Shop, visit or talk to your banker today.

If you’re ready to support small like we are, then we’ll see you at the Spotlight Shop in Captain’s Cove. We’ll be the ones holding the chocolate chip cookies from Leisha’s!