Portland, Ore.–

Portland Mercado will officially open to the public on April 1. The 7,000 square foot marketplace is Portland’s only Latino market and will house 19 Latino-owned businesses – including eight food trucks.

According to Jamie Melton, Hacienda CDC Marketing Coordinator, the space will provide first-time Latino business owners affordable spaces, with rent based on income.

Inside, retail shops specialize in produce, flowers, and other goods imported from Latin American countries.

Five of the food carts will serve Mexican cuisine. But since the operators focus on different regions, the menus will not overlap.

The April 1 opening is a “soft one,” Melton said. The grand opening party is scheduled for the following week on April 11 and will be from noon to 7 p.m. The first 500 people to arrive  will be given a gift card.

The lot used to be a bank and car dealership before Hacienda transformed it.

“If we’re successful, at least 19 businesses won’t be gentrified out,” said Nathan Teske, Hacienda’s community and economic development director.

The project was built using grants and loans from the Portland Development Commission. Although the commission owns the land, it will be leased to the market for $1 a year for five years.

“The goal is to create economic and business ownership opportunities for people who might never be able to do it,” Teske said. “We want to help them, but we don’t want to create dependence.”

The website includes a list of vendors.

Portland Mercado / 7238 SE Foster Rd. / Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

 

Katrina Aman is an aspiring journalist who desires to be a person of positive influence. Particularly passionate about poverty alleviation and civil rights, she hopes her writing takes her where she can improve lives.