Bronx Night Market provides a true taste of the borough

Pedro Rivera Image
Friday, May 10, 2024
Bronx Night Market provides a true taste of the borough
Pedro Rivera has the story in the Bronx on the festivities.

THROGGS NECK, Bronx (WABC) -- If you want to get a true taste of one of New York City's boroughs, just go to its night market.

For Maria Bido, cooking has always been her passion since her days cooking with her grandmother in a Chelsea kitchen.

"She would give me a big bowl of garlic to peel to occupy my time," Bido said.

Fast forward to 2020, like many New Yorkers, Maria lost her job in the pandemic and that's when the idea came.

"I want to teach the kids in the Lower East Side to make traditional Puerto Rican recipes," Bido explained.

From classes to a business, Mia's Cocina has been serving Puerto Rican favorites like accpuria and bacalaitos for years. The cocina, or the kitchen, will bring some of that boricua flavor to the Bronx Night Market.

"We can reach new people that we would have never had to the possibly ever met without having this opportunity," she said.

More than 40 small business vendors have an opportunity to showcase their creativity and culture to thousands of people at one of the most iconic locations in the Boogie Down, 161st and Grand Concourse.

"It's just a beautiful array of the diversity in the borough and the talent we have. Ultimately we are supporting entrepreneurs that become the next small business owner," Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson said.

It's one of dozens of events happening during Bronx Week, the annual celebration for the home of Hip-Hop.

On Friday, financial leaders came together in Throgs Neck for the Bronx Bankers Breakfast. The Bronx Economic Development Corporation announced a new borough wide micro-loan program that'll provide $50,000 loans to small business owners at 5% interest. They're loans that larger banks may not provide to mom-and-pop shops.

"You think of bodegas. You think of print shops. You think auto body repair shops. You think about those businesses that need working capital," Rob Walsh, president of the Bronx Economic Development Corporation, said.

"It's really about collaboration and investment and resources we must bring to the Bronx," Gibson added.

Investments that could ne made to small businesses that'll be on full display at the Bronx Night Market including Mia's Cocina.

"We're in the Bronx. We have Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, we are here," Bido said.

The "stars of the show" on her menu this weekend are beef, chicken, cheese empanadas, a traditional dinner plate: Arroz con gandules, pulled pork, yucca and garlic sauce, fried plantain chips, bacalaitos (cod fish fritter), and alcapurrias (banana fritters).

The Bronx Borough president says there is so much happening in the borough that Bronx Week can't just actually be 7 days. It has to be 13.

You can learn more about Bronx Week here:

ALSO READ: New NYC pay-by-plate parking meters bid farewell to paper receipts

Raegan Medgie has details from Washington Heights.


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