Join the Northfield Chamber for a Ribbon Cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of Mercado Local!
About Mercado Local:
The concept of Mercado Local has been a longstanding idea for many individuals. In 2017, Mariano Espinoza, an advocate from the City of Minneapolis who played a crucial role in the development of the City ID in the Northfield community, recognized the pressing need for a communal space for the immigrant Hispanic community in downtown Northfield. Even before Mariano Espinoza articulated the necessity for a gathering place in 2017, Mar Valdecantos had attempted to establish such a space on Highway 3 as part of the work of the nonprofit Rice County Neighbors United.
In 2021, Rice County Neighbors United received a grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to establish a business association, leading to the beginning of Mercado Local. During this time, both Charlie Kyte and Verónica Jiménez shared a similar vision for a market in town. It began as a pop-up holiday market at the Northfield Depot, Charlie Kyte’s was instrumental in considering the Depot as the location, has now evolved into a vibrant community of almost twenty exceptional vendors, predominantly women from Mexico, but also hailing from Guatemala and Brazil. The market features products from various Hispanic countries, including Spain, and the arts and crafts from their creators.
The realization of Mercado Local at the store was made possible through the collaboration of individuals like Jennifer Sawyer, who assembled a group of women to contribute towards covering the store's rent for the first year. This collective effort has enabled the establishment of Mercado Local—a combination of a market and art center located at 108 5th St. E.—propelling the market into a new era and promising future endeavors.