Cilantro sauce, art pieces, ecological items, honey and granola were some of the items dozens of mask-wearing community members bought Saturday at the reopening of the Brownsville Farmer’s Market after it was closed for more than six months due to the pandemic.
At the entrance, board members and employees from the Brownsville Wellness Coalition gave hand sanitizer to attendees and reminded them to social distance.
Dolly Sevier, a board member, said she woke up feeling relieved to be able to have a Saturday morning where she can wake up, get dressed, grab her bike and head to the Farmer’s Market.
“It is really nice to give people this option. I think more than anything right now, what we are contributing to is mental health,” Sevier said.
“Just the way I felt this morning, I think that a lot of people don’t realize the big impact of how it makes you feel better: beeing outside, in the sun, with other people in a time where we are all feeling very isolated.”
Excited to be able to offer their products to the community via in-person, local business owners said it is important to support local businesses.
“I’m glad that more people are coming out because they want to take advantage of the fresh air and the things that we are offering here,” Michelle Mendoza, owner of South Texas Menudeo, said.
“Hopefully, [this helps] the financial problems a lot of people are having right now and they think of this as an investment.”
South Texas Menudeo offers home goods and personal products made from upcycled, recycled, sustainable, and leftover materials.
Mendoza said she decided to start her company when she noticed there were no local businesses offering what she needed to start a zero-waste lifestyle.
“I started myself a few years ago buying from other people, and I started because I watched a Ted Talk of someone who started the zero-waste because I am always looking for environmental stuff and she was one of the recommendations,” she said.
“As soon as I watched it, I started making a little changes on my life and then I saw that I couldn’t buy any of these things locally, which she is a proponent of, so I started making things little by little and I started selling here last year.”
Comnmunity member Daniella Lopez-Valdez said she is happy to be able to support local businesses again by buying healthy choices.
“I am so happy that it’s open, it feels so good to see all the businesses out here. This is where I usually get my almond butter, my local honey, everything, so it feels good to be out here supporting them because I know it’s been a tough time,” she said.