"La Marqueta" Attracts New Vendors, Shoppers
Manhattan's "La Marqueta" has been refurbished and is now featuring new merchants catering to the old neighborhood. NY1's Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.
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Vendors inside East Harlem's "La Marquetta" were busy at work Friday bagging potatoes, making coffee and ladling out cups of apple cider.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for us to be in the city having a permanent retail space," said Alexa Korngiebel of Breezy Hill Orchard.
Over the last three months, the city's Economic Development Corporation has spent about $50,000 sprucing up the once-near-vacant space on 115th Street and Park Avenue.
Currently, there are five new vendors inside, bringing the grand total to 11.
"It's great, business is going good," said Danny Rodriguez of Viva Produce.
"I'm not exaggerating, everyone is so impressed and surprised, pleasantly surprised," said Tika Fotoglidi of Spaha Cafe.
Farmer Franca Tantillo of Buried Treasures says she's adapting to her new neighborhood and new clientele.
"I never dreamed I'd be selling salt fish or pork snouts but it is the local community and I'll be tailoring my crops as well to the local," Tantillo said.
Dimitri Gatanas of the Urban Garden Canter says working in "La Marqueta" means a lot to him professionally and personally.
"My mom and her family emigrated to America in this community and were patrons of this market so when we had the chance to apply and be a vendor here, we jumped at it," Gatanas said.
There are several vendors who have stayed over the years, including Jose's Meat Market.
"With the new vendors probably this market growing back up again like normal," said Jose Meat Market Owner Jose Cintron.
The stalls range in size from 120 to 400 square feet and the rents vary accordingly.
"Generally the asking rents are around $30 a square foot. We think it's a great opportunity for vendors, especially for small business people to attract local attention and hopefully expand over time," said Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky.
While "La Marqueta" is open for business, customers aren't flocking there just yet. But those who spoke with NY1 say they were excited about it.
"I can see it's changed a lot it's nice and fresh and clean and beautiful," said one shopper.
"The neighborhood needs more things like this. There are not enough places to eat, not enough places to shop so this will be a positive addition to the neighborhood," said another.