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Mercado Local is working towards the goal of creating a permanent location for a market where several different Hispanic businesses come together and share the same space. The model is the Mercado Central in Minneapolis. The creation of such a hub for business will allow entrepreneurs to come together and offer their products to the surrounding communities in Southern Minnesota.

Mercado Local Assets

Mercado Local already has two-year experience in the field. Several pop-up markets have been conducted at the Northfield Depot and it has a presence in the summer months at the Northfield Riverwalk Market and Fair.

The vendors in the expanding list of entrepreneurs, continue to expand their businesses. There is a need for business coaching on how to create a good business plan and long-term goals, and food licenses for vendors who wish to sell food.

Since 2022, Mercado Local is a member of the Northfield Chamber of Commerce. We are looking into an invitation to be part of the board. The invitation, we hope, could include Verónica Jiménez, the emerging entrepreneur who had the idea of the Mercado Local and Mar Valdecantos, director of Rice County Neighbors United/Vecinxs Unidxs.

Mercado Local Needs

  • Capital funds to launch a more permanent version of the Mercado Local. The group is seeking partnerships, sponsorships, bank and institutional support.
  • One on one business coaching for vendors (English is supportive; Spanish language helpful, though translators are available within their community).
  • Development of business identities and plans for each vendor. This includes online presence, name, business cards, payment systems with credit card.
  • Food licensing support (training, navigation) to help Mercado Local vendors be able to sell food at the Mercado Local and at local markets.
  • Marketing/outreach support beyond Northfield – both to recruit new vendors and bring potential buyers to Northfield.

Mercado Local Target Vendor Population

Mercado Local provides a business hub for Hispanic vendors and the market is open to all community members. It offers products hard to find in Southern Minnesota, many are imported from Latin American countries such as Mexico and Guatemala and many products are the creations of the talented vendors.

Counties Population and Hispanic percentages in Southern Minnesota by County:

County County Total Population Hispanic Percentage
Rice County
(Including Northfield, Nerstrand, Lonsdale, Faribault)
67,262 Hispanic, 9%
Blue Earth County (Mankato) 69,280 Hispanic, 4.7%
Steele County (Owatonna) 37,406 Hispanic, 8.5%