The Boise International Market burned down in September, putting its business owners out of work. This weekend, a handful of those - mostly refugee - entrepreneurs started back up in a temporary location for the holiday season.
Trailhead in downtown Boise is in a pretty good location for restaurants and retail. It isn’t designed for either, though. Trailhead is a business incubator.
But on Saturday, its public meeting room housed seven vendors from the old international market and an eighth will join the new “Global Community Market” next weekend. They sell items like clothes, groceries and prepared food. Organizers say several hundred people came Saturday.
Omid Mousa is an Afghan refugee who has been in Boise more than seven years. He lost his specialty coffee shop to the fire and opened a smaller version Saturday. Because Trailhead isn’t equipped for cooking, all food and drink is prepared off-site. Mousa says that’s not ideal.
But, he says it’s important for the business owners to stay connected to customers even if they don’t make much money.
“One day a week is definitely not enough to have a stable income,” Mousa says. “But one day a week will provide people with a window of opportunity to show their presence and build a customer base for the future when we do open.”
No one knows when the International Market will be rebuilt but Jannus - a nonprofit that teamed with Trailhead to resurrect the market - wants to find a larger, temporary location for the vendors after the holiday season and be part of a new, permanent market. The Global Community Market will operate at least through December.
Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam
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