In recent years I have noticed more and more marketplaces gaining popularity in the United States. As travelers know, marketplaces around the world are nothing new. In countries such as Turkey, China, Singapore, and Argentina they are everywhere. In contrast to retail store outlets and chains, marketplaces provide a platform for local entrepreneurs whether they are just starting out to test out their business or seasoned marketers. They are a place where people in the community shop face-to-face with personal interaction and support the local economy.
During the summer of 2014, my wife and I started an information booth for essential oils at a local marketplace in Rio Rancho, NM. It was the first time renting a booth, and we learned so much from our experience, met wonderful and interesting people, and truly had a sense of connection with the community. Not only did we meet the locals that came out to shop and enjoy the food, music, and shopping experience, we also networked and met all of the other wonderful vendors as well. The owners Marc and Phyllis create this wonderful atmosphere at Idalia Road Marketplace. It’s a marketplace with character and personality!
You can find their website at www.idaliaroadmarketplace.com or check them out in Rio Rancho, NM!
Idalia Road has vendors that offer foods, produce, clothing, services, artist creations, hand-made items, personal products, and more! There is live music, special event weekends, and local fundraising charity and non-profit fundraising campaigns. It’s truly one of the most unique marketplaces.
No two marketplaces are alike. Some are growers’ markets with fresh local produce, many call themselves “swap meets,” others are art shows for local artists’ works. No matter what the specific purpose, they all bring people out of their homes and congregate together to buy and trade, away from the retail outlet store environments. With the rise of more marketplaces across the U.S., it’s exciting to see a place where the economy is so directly engaged at the local level, and an opportunity for individuals to seek out their own business when the job market is shaky at best.
With all of the strip malls and retail outlets, I thought the Phoenix area surely didn’t have a marketplace of its own. But I was wrong when I visited the area in April. I found this Marketplace in Mesa, AZ and let me tell you it is HUGE.
I spent a good hour walking along the endless stretch of booths as far as the eye can see. There were so many unique items to see and purchase here. There was also a snack bar and live music when I visited.
Do you visit a local marketplace where you live? What do they offer, and how have they added value to your community. Share you thoughts with us! Also, I will be doing an interview with Marc and Phyllis of Idalia Road Marketplace for our upcoming RustedCompass Podcast. So please check that out in the near future.