International Market

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The September fire that destroyed the Boise International Market has been deemed an act of arson, according to the Boise Police and Fire departments.  

A four-month joint investigation included the use of private fire investigation experts and forensic analysis. Officials say additional information uncovered during the investigation led investigators to conclude the fire was intentionally set.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

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.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

About 20 small business owners, many of them refugees, lost their livelihoods and their dreams when the Boise International Market burned down over the weekend. But the market’s owners Lori Porreca and Miguel Gaddi lost their business and their dream as well. The partners in life and business worked for years to make the market a reality only to lose it after less than a year of operation. They were out of town to get married when the fire happened.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In June of 2014, we first told you about a new place that was under construction in Boise where refugees and others would soon be able to own small businesses. Last April we introduced you to some of them as the Boise International Market celebrated its grand opening. But over the weekend the market burned.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise International Market is throwing its grand opening celebration Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with live music and dance from around the world. Sixteen individual businesses are now open at the market, and six more are coming soon.

Rita Thara Yenga, Africa, International Market
Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

Rita Thara Yenga shows off two plastic boxes full of women's bags she's sewn. She's preparing inventory for her new store "Thara Fashion." It opened in October at the International Market in Boise.

"I'm so happy to show people my talent," she explains. "It makes me excited."

Rita sells clothes and accessories for American sensibilities, but with a distinctly African twist. 

International Market, Boise, food
Photo Courtesy International Market

The Boise International Market is set to open its doors sometime in August. It will start out with 17 micro-businesses selling products from around the world. Developers hope to add more vendors soon after it opens.

Boise International Market, business
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A construction crew is busy renovating a dilapidated strip mall on the Boise bench. It’s just a big empty space with torn up floors, but by August this will be the Boise International Market. Lori Porreca is building the market along with her partner Miguel Gaddi.

The market will be home to many small businesses, each in stalls. There will be 17 when it opens and more added later. As Gaddi stands in the main entrance of his construction project, he describes what it will be like.