Monday, March 12, 2012

Year-old West Side Bazaar wants to expand

Martha Sosa, owner of Pure Peru

 As the West Side Bazaar celebrates its first anniversary, plans are already in motion to expand.
 The bazaar is located at 242 Grant St. in a small space tucked next to Guercio & Sons grocers. The small, whitewashed room is stuffed to the brim with six vendors and their wares from all over the world.
 The Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) is working to create another West Side Bazaar that would be large enough to house 20 to 30 vendors.
Economic Development Coordinator for WEDI, Ben Bissell, says the Bazaar’s planned expansion should be finished by fall of this year.
  At this moment WEDI is taking applications for hopeful new business owners. Much like the current bazaar, WEDI is looking for tenants from the refugee and immigrant community.
  “Any [applicant] we get, we’ll look over,” said Bissell. “Products from other countries are especially valued.”
  Products like those sold by Martha Sosa in Pure Peru, the store she owns within the current bazaar. Her displays overflow with painted watermelon seed earrings, various necklaces and palm nut ivory carvings.
  “I make [some things],” said Sosa. “But also, I bring in my culture.”
  Sosa, draped in a coffee-bean necklace, said she is looking forward to the possibilities the new expansion will offer.
  “You can make food,” said Sosa, an aspiring chef. “The other location will be bigger than here.” By Mike Harrington and Shayna McKie