Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC) has cleared one big hurdle in turning the idea of a Latino-themed, public market into reality: funding. With the announcement that they were awarded over $788,000 for the Portland Mercado, plans for the project appear more solidified.
The Portland Mercado is an idea based on a model out of Minneapolis, in which Latino vendors and customers (non-Latino, too) alike are provided with a central market to sell or shop for goods. Vendors are coached on entrepreneurial skills and business management, and are then given the opportunity to buy a stake in the market. In Minneapolis, the Mercado Central provides ready-made food, as well as tortillas, breads, and meats. In addition, shoppers can find clothes, flowers, and insurance and travel agents. In Portland, much of what would be available will be dependent on the needs and wants of the customer base…although you can probably expect at least some food element.
With the grant from the Office of Community Services, Hacienda CDC can now, presumably, move forward with their plans for the Portland Mercado. Hacienda CDC has already identified a site for the project, located on the southeast corner of 72nd and Foster. At this point, only Hacienda CDC is aware of what the plans are, as the grant award is the only public information available. Please check out the Portland Mercado website or Facebook page to learn more, as well as what the next steps may be.