In 2017, Prosper Portland and Travel Portland hosted the first My People’s Market, a new version of a smaller event highlighting business owners, artists, and performers of color. It was a sort of living, breathing Mercatus, Prosper Portland’s directory of Black, Indigenous, and people of color-owned businesses: The event hosted musicians, dancers, chefs, artists, and craftspeople, selling everything from bottled sauces to earrings.
My People’s Market was a collaboration between four founders: Amanda Park, Tamara Kennedy-Hill, Michelle Comer, and Tory Campbell, the former director of economic development at Prosper Portland. Campbell, who also owns sauce-and-spice-rub company Felton & Mary’s, left Prosper Portland earlier this year, but this weekend’s event theme — “In it together” — is an homage to him. “That’s how he signed off his emails, ‘In it together.’ He recently left the agency, but he has still contributed so much to what this market is,” Park, My People’s Market’s project manager, says. “We want to recognize how much our communities have gone through and what they’ve overcome.”
This year’s market, the team’s seventh, will take over the North Park Blocks for three days, a grand revival of the event after the state’s reopening. “We’ve tried to restore some of the joy we try to bring to the market,” Park says. “I hope that market goers who have been with us since the beginning, I hope they can find that community and joy they’ve found at every other event.”
This year, the market will feature two food courts, a number of vendors selling pantry items and desserts, a main stage with everything from lion dance performances to djs, a wellness center offering massages and sound therapy, and a booze garden at the neighboring Santé Bar, with its own djs and performers. While some of the food, drink, dessert, and pantry vendors will change day-to-day, a handful will stay on throughout, selling Philly cheesesteaks and chocolates, smash burgers and salsas, berbere and barrel-aged honey.
Below, find a guide to the food and drink vendors taking over the North Park Blocks this weekend, including day-to-day offerings. For more information about the market, visit the event’s website.
Where: The North Park Blocks, between NW Davis and NW Flanders, NW 8th and NW Park
• Main stage: 220 NW 8th Avenue
• Libation Garden: Santé Bar, 411 NW Park Avenue
When: Friday, August 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. | Saturday, August 7 from noon to 6 p.m. | Sunday, August 8 from noon to 6 p.m.
RSVP: Not necessary, but visitors can RSVP via EventBrite
Cost: Free, with vendors selling items available for purchase.
Available Every Day
Spice of Africa: This food hall restaurant, farmers market staple, and cooking class company specifically wants to educate Portlanders about the several intricate cuisines found within Africa, from Ethiopian injera to Kenyan ugali and sukuma wiki.
Kaah Market: This market, found at the popular Portland Mercado, is more than a spot to grocery shop — owner Erick Caravantes serves things like tender carnitas and house-made salsas that are hard to forget.
Lo’s Burgers: This is the debut of the burger pop-up from Portland artist Lorenzo de Alicante, who is entering the now extremely competitive smash burger league in Portland. Lo’s little hit of heat in the burger’s special sauce may set it ahead of the pack, however. Either way, My People’s Market will be the first place to try it.
We Grub: Lettice and Calvin Harris, a local culinary school alum, moved to Portland to open their family business, a food truck slinging chicken strips, salmon burgers, and gargantuan cheesesteaks — the cart’s specialty.
Tostado Coffee Roasters: Roaster Adriana Lopez specifically sources Mexican coffees from Chiapas and Oaxaca for her coffee company, Tostado, which she roasts into varied and balanced coffees sold in pom-pom-adorned bags. Not only does Lopez pay a fair trade price for her coffee, but she later donates tips and a portion of her sales back to small-scale coffee growers in Mexico.
Cafe Diaspora: Owner Sam Khaute grew up in rural India, brewing and drinking chai throughout the day. When Khaute moved to the United States, he got a job at a coffee shop as a barista, and became immersed in Portland coffee culture. Now, his Cafe Diaspora is not only a spot to find layered roasts and India-grown coffees — it’s also one of the city’s favorite chai suppliers, spotted at cafes around Portland.
Santé Bar: Santé Bar, conveniently located on the North Park Blocks, will host the My People’s Market Beer and Libation Garden, adjacent to one of My People’s Market’s two food courts. Santé’s intimate cocktail lounge is known for its highballs and pretty cocktails served in coupes, ideal for a sunny day.
Sweet Temptations Creamery: This boozy ice cream and frozen pop company does offer zero-proof flavors like key lime pie and kiwi dream, but it’s known for its cocktail-inspired frozen treats, like the whiskey-infused banana caramel royal or strawberry margarita.
Portland Chocolate Laboratory: This Sellwood chocolatier treats its chocolate as sacred, infusing the cacao with specific herbs designed to help people meditate, get to sleep, and more.
Sweet Day Cotton Candy: Those envisioning the electric pink cloud from childhood will be surprised to encounter Sweet Day’s version of the treat, using organic ingredients and skipping the artificial flavors and colorings.
Barreled Bee: It is hard to find a gift quite as distinct as these barrel-aged honeys, which pick up mild spirit character; the company’s buzz sticks, like honey sticks, take inspiration from various classic cocktails like lemon drops or bourbon lemonades.
Tan Tan Cafe Deli: This stalwart Vietnamese restaurant spot has a reliable spot for pho, banh mi, and other standbys since the ‘90s, but its more recent development of bottled sauces has made it easier to try to replicate those flavors at home. The shop’s vegan fish sauce and hoisin are particular hits.
HAB Sauce: There’s no hot sauce on the market quite like HAB’s spicy sweet soy sauce. Somewhere between a domestic hot sauce and Indonesian kecap manis, it pairs soy with habanero and molasses for something sweet and distinctive.
Khalsa Salsa: This Good Food Award-winning salsa combines the flavors of Mexico and India for these various dips, which come in flavors like mango habanero and black bean.
Eleni’s Kitchen: This Ethiopian spice company doesn’t only offer great blends of berbere or mitmita; it also has an impressive line of simmer sauces, for easy marinades, braises, and stews.
Felton & Mary’s: Years ago, Felton and Mary Campbell ran the Southeast Portland barbecue destination Campbells BBQ, before they sold the business and eventually retired. Felton & Mary’s is an homage to the original restaurant and its reigning couple, with barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and link sausages.
My Daddy’s Sauces: This under-the-radar company comes from catering vet Willis Anderson, focusing exclusively on barbecue sauces at specific heat levels.
Cezzie’s Chews: This snack and tea company doesn’t only highlight Black-owned snack makers and producers from around the country with its snack boxes and subscriptions; it also advocates and spreads awareness for Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait.
Meals 4 Heels: Nikeisah Newton started Meals 4 Heels as a meal delivery service for sex workers and dancers in Portland; since then, she’s expanded her clientele, serving bowls of roasted vegetables and lemon-pepper couscous at protests and events around Portland.
Honeybee Sparkling Lemonades and Syrups: Meals 4 Heels devotees may recognize these Portland-made syrups, which Newton uses for her shop’s sodas. These syrups come in flavors like strawberry rhubarb raspberry lime and peach lychee lemonade, best paired with seltzer (and hey, maybe a splash of something stronger).
Mamancy Tea Co.: With locations in Beaverton and Hillsboro, Mamancy serves various house-blended teas and truffles, leaning into sweet flavors like pu-erh coconut cheesecake, white chocolate matcha, and strawberry oolong. Plus, owner Anne Johnson, who grew up in Kenya, donates a portion of the business’s proceeds to women and children in Kenya, specifically through the Angel Centre for Abandoned Children.
Ice Queen: This vegan paleta company has been a smashing success in the Portland area, thanks to wildly creative flavors like “tickle my pickle” and “drop that beet;” still, it’s hard to pass on the shop’s mangonada or piña colada.
Everybody Eats: This Pearl District restaurant — known for both its elaborate brunch dishes, seafood-loaded mac and cheese, and jaw-dropping soul food — started as a catering company, and it’ll be slinging hardcore Philly cheesesteaks on Saturday alongside cups of strawberry peach lemonade.
Charcuterie Me: These ritzy charcuterie boxes are available in single-serve cones, in boxes meant to share, and as a monthly subscription service, delivered around Portland with artfully arranged slices of cured meats, cheese, and dried fruits.
Favela Brazilian Cafe: This Foster-Powell Brazilian cafe is known both as a fine spot to grab a morning coffee, avocado smoothie, and cheesy pão de queijo, as well as a meeting ground for Brazilian expats and those who want to learn more about the culture.
Exilior Coffee: This Kenyan-owned coffee roaster buys its beans from Kenyan growers, and then re-invests the profits in causes that benefit the overarching financial and environmental stability of the country, from sustainable farming initiatives to educational programs.
Bestea: This brand of dairy-free Thai iced tea is designed to serve as an on-the-go drink, as opposed to a takeout accompaniment or a pairing with a dinner out.
Arubah Juice: Arubah Juice specializes in supplements and wellness drinks, made with things like ashwagandha and pomegranate.
Lucille and Annie’s Poundcakes: This company bakes and frosts Southern-style poundcakes, from 7-Up cakes to peach cakes topped with peach sauce and pecans.
Sibeiho: This Singaporean supper club has become something closer to a market, with its own line of sambals, snack mixes, and takeout specials like curry puffs.
Comelona Salsa: Portlanders may recognize the hatted skull plastered on the jars of these salsas from the brand’s sister restaurant, Belmont Mexican spot La Calaca Comelona. These salsas work particularly well for marinades, with flavors like chile habanero and chile de arbol.
Hapa Pizza: This Beaverton Farmers Market stall takes a Neapolitan-inspired crust and tops it with things like pho-braised brisket, banh-mi-style pickled vegetables, and Chinese sausage.
Shop Halo Halo: This Filipino dessert company, owned by Pacific Northwestern baker Geleen Abenoja, has served treats like biko, ube crinkle cookies, and blueberry calamansi cheesecakes at markets and pop-ups across town, often selling out.
Correction: This story has been corrected to show Travel Portland is involved with My People’s Market, not Travel Oregon.