Anticipation! Everyone is excited as the La Cruz Market reopens this Sunday, November 2nd from 10 am – 2pm. This spectacular event, so much more than just a market where people buy food and trinkets, was conceived at a party, five years ago, where five friends were discussing the bridges that had been washed out and how it was difficult to get to the stores to buy groceries.
I spoke with Jason Foster-Barnes one of the founders of this magnificent concept about how it came about.
The original vision was 1) to support people of the region to sell their goods and 2) to provide locals with produce (and more) so they didn’t have to travel so far to shop. Pia, Myra, Alicia and Jason got together post party and brainstormed, agreeing culture was paramount!
Many of us are aware that there is music and children’s programs at the market but did you know that the cultural portion goes into the community, taking place most of the year even when the market isn’t running.
They’ve participated in schools with book and writing programs, mind/body respect and awareness classes, music shows and more. They’ve brought counselors to families to help when challenges arise. They created a sports field for local youths to run, play and do what kids do! One of the latest endeavors is teaching English in the primary schools.
The concept that rules sales; the vendor has to bake it, grow it, sew it or transform it. No factory produced items allowed.
Every person working at the market gets paid, including organizers, maintenance, advertising, bathroom and venue cleanup, children’s event organization and more. The influx of tourism brought to town by the marina, the many music venues, world-class restaurants and the Mercado Huanacaxtle has created much success from its very first week.
Rumoured last year, some Sundays 10,000 people were at the market, Jason said no one officially counts but he believes that number is accurate.
When I asked him his vision for the market, he said no plastics in the garbage, organic composting and to continue to grow the cultural events that support the community.
The overflow of success to local businesses is what Jason calls energy overflow, love that!
“I love the La Cruz Market, I have been a vendor since our first season in the park. I love to set up my booth oceanfront every Sunday morning and see all the smiling faces of my wonderful loyal clients on the North side of the bay.” Chantel Mann, Chantel Vintage Spoon Jewelry.