When we think of a farmers market, we usually think of something stationary, but that is the exact opposite of what Prosperity Market is working to do. I’m Natalie Basha in West Adams, and I meet two women who are working to put a farmers market on wheels, featuring black farmers and food entrepreneurs. Before the pandemic Kara’s career looked really different from this.
Kara Still, 0:00
I was in fashion design, so, all the details on the way that your clothes are constructed is what I was doing.
Nathalie Basha, 0:04
And while she still does some freelance fashion design on the side she spends most of her days, dreaming of ways to disrupt the traditional farmer’s market model and her business partner Carmen, who’s a part time makeup artist by trade is right there with her.
Carmen Dianne, 0:18
This took over. I mean, it literally took over and I wasn’t thinking about makeup and it just, it like, it’s like tunnel vision right now.
Nathalie Basha, 0:26
Kara and Carmen were inspired to help the black community, after the death of George Floyd and said they found a way to do it through a gap in the farmers market and started Prosperity Market.
Kara Still, 0:36
We are a mobile Black Farmers Market so we support black farmers and food entrepreneurs, and we go all over LA monthly doing different stuffs in different locations. And then part of what we do is we also do monthly produce giveaways.
Nathalie Basha, 0:48
The two women say that in some parts of LA, it’s hard to find, black owned businesses, and while in others like South LA finding fresh food is a challenge.
Carmen Dianne, 1:00
If you live on in North Hollywood or the west side or if you kind of live far away you don’t have an opportunity to support black businesses.
Nathalie Basha, 1:06
So one part of the business model are these roving Sunday produce giveaways. The bags are packed with food products from black owned businesses.
Kara Still, 1:14
We have Misha’s dairy free cream cheese
Nathalie Basha, 1:17
and stocked with produce from black farmers, but the Sunday produce giveaways are just one aspect of Prosperity Market, Kara and Carmen, are also out here promoting and fundraising for their biggest goal, a farmers market super trailer on wheels.
Kara Still, 1:31
The back is like a grocery store so you can go in and shop just like produce aisles in a grocery store.
Nathalie Basha, 1:37
By being on wheels instead of stationary, they say they’ll be able to increase their reach and frequency and help more people on both sides of the farmer’s market model that purple truffle basil, people like Briann, one of the Black Farmers featured in prosperity market and known for her homemade lemonade,
Briann Battle, 1:52
It has been a blessing, you know, to just teach my kids entrepreneurship, and you know to be a black business owner and just have this amazing opportunity. You know, I’m, I’m just so thankful.
Nathalie Basha, 2:04
In order to get the super trailer finished Kara and Carmen still have to raise over $100,000, and they’re taking donations on their website. But until then, they’ll be out here, Changing the blueprints of farmers markets on foot.