Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meet our neighbors at La Marqueta!

La Casa Azul Bookstore opened a Summer Pop Up Shop in La Marqueta on July 6, 2013. 
La Casa Azul Bookstore - summer pop up shop!

Located just 12 blocks north from our shop at 103rd Street, our Summer Pop Up Shop is the perfect place for you to pick up books, gifts and toys for the children in your life.
And while you are at La Marqueta, you can also enjoy coffee, pastries and many delicious treats from the shops in the historic market place!
Shop local and support independent businesses that make El Barrio and 
La Marqueta unique!

Hot Bread Kitchen

Hot Bread Kitchen,Founded by Jessamyn Rodriguez
Interviews with: Mercedes (Shop Manager) and Molly (Communications/Public Relations)

How long has Hot Bread Kitchen been in La Marqueta?
The Bakery/Incubator Kitchen has been at La Marqueta since December, 2010. The stall opened in July, 2012 to sell Hot Bread Kitchen products to the community.

What products/services do you sell/provide to the community?
Hot Bread Kitchen is a non-profit organization, which has a bakery training program for immigrant women to learn the skills of professional bread making within a legal space. We provide international breads, produced by the bakery training program. Proceeds from bread sales fund the program for immigrant women. The products sold at the stall located in La Marqueta are produced by the incubator kitchens, and buying these products helps support small businesses.

What’s a highlight of working at La Marqueta?
Socializing with the people of the community and spreading the word of what we do as a non-profit. Mercedes adds: “This space reminds me of being home in the Dominican Republic, but the quiet parts.”

Mama Grace's Afro Caribbean Food
Interview with: Mama Grace (Vendor/Owner)

How long have you been at La Marqueta?
I have been here since 1993.

What products/services do you sell/provide to the community?
I provide African/Caribbean food and products to the community. Many of my customers come from different parts of the East Coast, just to buy my products.

Highlight one of your products.
The most popular product is my dry salted linkfish. I also provide traditional cooking ware such as mortar and pestle, cast iron pots, and wooden utensils. I also have a variety of old medicinal products like cod liver oil, florida water, and ginseng. 
Velez Grocery

Interview with: Aurelia (Vendor)

How long have you been in La Marqueta?
It will be 21 years in October that I have been in this building of La Marqueta, but I have had a stall in La Marqueta since 1971.

What products/services do you sell/provide to the community?
I sell yuca, Caribbean food, etc.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in El Barrio, and grew up in La Marqueta. My parents are from Ponce and San Dulce, Puerto Rico.

Highlight a product.
My bacalao and Goya brand products.

La Marqueta, 115th and Park Ave, El Barrio

Interview with Jose, vendor

How long have you been at La Marqueta?
Viva Produce is a family-owned business that has been in La Marqueta for 30-40 years.

What products/services do you sell/provide to the community?
Various types of produce found in Latin America, including green plantains, cassava, chayote, and many more.

Highlight one of your products.
Ñame (a root vegetable).

Interview with: William (Owner)

How long have you been at La Marqueta?
Two years.

What products/services do you sell/provide to the community?
Meats and fish, such as oxtail, turkey, chicken, beef.

Where are you from?
I’m from the Dominican Republic.

What does La Marqueta mean to you?
History and tradition. It’s a piece of El Barrio that we need to keep beating, like a heart.

Did you visit La Marqueta as a child?
Do you still visit? Share your favorite memories of La Marqueta with us! 

Interviews by Chris Lopez and Silvia Galis-Menendez

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