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What to Expect at This November’s My People’s Market

The Market is predicted to bring bigger crowds than ever, with more music, vendors, and diversity.

My People's Market is back–and if you have yet to experience one of these events (there have been four since 2017), now is the time. This re-imagined marketplace is a gathering of Portland's diverse and vibrant entrepreneurs, makers, artists, culinary wizards, and beverage crafters. Organized by Prosper Portland and Travel Portland, and sponsored by New Seasons Market, the biannual event is a one-stop shop of emerging local artisans.

The fall market is coming up fast on Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Self-Enhancement Inc. space (3920 N Kerby Ave.), located at the heart of the historic Boise/Mississippi neighborhood. Whether you're in the market for something specific or merely interested in grabbing a bite to eat while supporting local POC-owned businesses, you're sure to find something exciting from the 100+ vendors in a fun and vibrant environment.

My People's Market seems to get better every time, and the organizers have put together a truly impressive program for this fall. Here are some highlights of what you'll experience when you go.

First up, eat delicious food from cultures near and far.

My People's Market is committed to showcasing a diversity of culinary talent you can find made right here in Portland. At the market, you'll be invited to enjoy a wonderland of carefully crafted dishes from around the world: Spice of Africa will be serving traditional Kenyan and Ethiopian food like karibu and githeri. AZN Street Food will dish up fusion classics from Southeast Asia with a Pacific Northwest twist. We'll also be sampling Donna's Macarons, Mexican street food treats from Don Churros, and indulging in cupcakes from DB Dessert Company.

You can also meet some of the makers behind your favorite spices and condiments you already grab from the grocery store shelves. Through their Local Finds mentorship program, New Seasons Market has helped over 200 small-scale producers grow their businesses and get to the market. These include Choi's Kimchi Co., Hot Mama Salsa, Tan Tan Foods, Mathilde's Kitchen and more—all of which will be present at the market this November.

Next, refresh with a drink.

They say you eat with your eyes first, and the same applies for drinking, too. You'll definitely want to chug down a drink from MexiRican PDX. They are a staple in the pop-up market scene with rich Caribbean-inspired cocktails that come in hollowed-out pineapples (the drink is too damn photogenic to pass up). There will also be crisp cider served by La Familia Cider, made with Pacific Northwest apples with the Mexican family recipe from the owners' mama Gonzalez. For the caffeine kick to get us through the market (which you'll need, there's a lot to see), Diaspora Coffee & Chai Co. will have warm cups of coffee to enjoy. Each cup from them will also benefit the public good: Diaspora empowers refugees and immigrants who are starting a new life here in Portland by providing them work, English training and a supportive community.

Shop to find a present for someone (or for yourself)

My People's Market has more than food and drink—there is also a whole host of things to shop. Afrocentric Essentials will be promoting whole-body wellness with self-care products like body oils, African musk and black soaps. Diamond In The Rough Hair Spa will be on hand to consult on natural hair care solutions, and Essance Skincare will have their full lineup of organic body care products like soaps, deodorant, facial masks and personal care products made just for men. Artists like Habiba Abdul Rahim, Native Mexika and Turquoise Jim will offer original handmade art and designs, and vendors like Bonadic Vintage PDX, Ubuntu Afro Couture and Parker + Simonne Designs will present their innovative approaches to fashion.

Enjoy the entertainment from Portland’s top talent

This is not just a market—it's a whole vibe. Past performances have been incredible, with Blossom, Dj Anjali, and Brown Alice doing live sets. The bill for this fall's Market includes contortion artist Marcel Bercovivi, aerialist Amira Sereia, a DJ set by VNPRT and live sets from Maarqui and the New Night Life jazz quartet—the organizers really pull out all the stops for this.

See Portlanders gathering together en masse.

Turnout has been growing steadily for My People's Market, with 7k attendees in the summer of 2018 and 11k the following summer. And they're expecting even more folks to show up in November.

This is a wonderful testament to how Portlanders gather to support each other, a central tenet to both My People's Market and New Seasons. Tory Campbell, Director of Economic Development at Prosper Portland and one of the market founders, says, "My People's Market arose from the desire to include local entrepreneurs of color in new market opportunities. Our economy – and our community – are stronger, more diverse and more innovative when all entrepreneurs have equitable access to business growth." New Seasons has become an integral part of this effort, as it is part of their own mission statement as well. As Chris Tjersland, New Seasons Market director of brand development, puts it, "From the industry events to the dynamic marketplace, this event furthers New Seasons Market's mission to use business as a force for positive change and empower inclusive communities."

New Seasons and My People's Market have once again partnered up for the event, and their efforts appear to be succeeding: attendance is going up and vendors are packing into the space. And of course, this would not be without the enthusiasm and support of Portlanders.

So consider this your formal invitation to join the fun and support your neighbors at My People's Market. If you prefer the smaller crowds, there is a Friday night preview party on Nov. 8. It's a more intimate experience with a limited number of VIP-entry tickets, which includes access to a free wellness lounge and $5 happy hour deals all night from some of your favorite businesses. But if you're not afraid of crowds, then come on Saturday, Nov. 9—it's free admission and everyone is welcome.

Go to My People's Market, sponsored by New Seasons Market. Learn more at mypeoplesmarket.com/fall-2019.