They Only Come Out at Night

The Grove Street People’s Market is
open to evening shoppers


At 6:15 on a hot Thursday night in May, about 10 vendors have set up at the Grove Street People’s Market inside the boundaries of the parking lot at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Grove Street.

Fermentologist Amy Peddie says the market promotes fellowship and entrepreneurship. Anybody in the community can set up and sell — there are no vendor fees. In addition, the market partners with Cone Health and runs a community garden where gardening classes are taught.

Instead of craft beer, Peddie’s fermented items are of the kimchi variety, using the lowly cabbage as a base. Tonight she’s featuring five kinds of the pickled, savory cabbage, including Green Kraut, Beetiful Cutrido (made with beets), Red (from Korean hot peppers) Kimchi and the white version (made from Korean radish. With a B.S. in Chemistry, she is a skilled lacto-fermentation-ator and teaches courses in pickling (fermentologyfoods@gmail .com for details).

A short jaunt across the parking lot, the lady with the beatific smile behind the African Sister and Catering banner introduces herself as Nsona. Featuring chicken, beignets, greens and pintos, her spread reaches from Brazil to Jamaica, from New Orleans to Africa.

Sister Nsona got her start in the food business nine years ago when she ran a small restaurant and catering business out of a building on the corner of Glenwood and Grove, across the street. Her African greens stew is a one-of-a-kind dish and her Jamaican jerk chicken, though spicy, does the set fire to the roof of your mouth.

In another interesting cultural juxtaposition, an old-time string band featuring dulcimer, banjo, fiddle and guitar releases Appalachian arias into the night air.

A couple of vendors are selling small plants — eggplant, cukes, parsley, basil and cabbage sprouts. “A dollar or two, or we just give ’em away,” one young lady says of her wares from a community garden just around the corner.

Diarra and Elizabeth Legget’s Boomerang Bookshop Nomad Chapter bookstore on wheels is on its maiden voyage. Founded just two weeks ago, the Leggets’ self-described “foray into entrepreneurship” grew out of Diarra’s work history in a brick-and-mortar bookstore.

Mama J’s Goodness Cookies began as a healthy snack for her kids. Made with “wholesome ingredients and a whole lotta love,” her spicy popcorn seasoned with curry, chile and garlic powder really kicks your tastes buds around.

The Grove Street People’s Market is open every Thursday, from 6–8 p.m. and every third Saturday from 5–8 p.m. Info:

–Grant Britt

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