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Millcreek Journal

New Americans International Market showcases global mix of foods and products

Jun 04, 2024 12:11PM ● By Jolene Croasmun

DeSolyMar Handmade Pottery available for purchase at the Millcreek Common. (Jolene Croasmun/City Journals)

The New Americans International Market is currently open daily at Millcreek Common until June 23. This market provides a space for refugees, immigrants and new Americans to showcase and sell their specialty foods and products inspired by their native countries.

“The New Americans International Market includes individuals in the community,” said Chase Gray who works in the public market for Millcreek City. 

“Millcreek wants to create new shops in the downtown space and these people want to grow their businesses. This is the start of what the city hopes will populate the shops on the bottom floors of the many buildings that will get built in Millcreek. It gives a preview of what that could look like in those shops when occupied by these local businesses,” Gray said.

DeSolyMar Handmade Pottery was created by Maria Soledad Pitta-Perez. She is from Peru and has been in Utah for 24 years.

“My pottery is in one of the stalls. I have been working with Millcreek since last year and it has been great,” Soledad Pitta-Perez said. “I have done pottery since I was 11 years old. It was just a hobby. I started making more and more and my husband encouraged me to sell my pottery so I tried and was invited to different events, and I decided to do this as a business about five years ago.

“My pottery is very different, and I can play more with shapes, and it is hand built. I do not use a wheel.”

Delicius is a business currently at the Public Market and was started by Ahimara Suarez six years ago. “We left Venezuela in 2017 and after studying cooking in Venezuela, we started Delicius as an opportunity to share Venezuelan traditions with the world,” Suarez said. “To imagine people being happy and healthy with my food inspires me just knowing that my food can earn many smiles.”

Suarez added, “New Americans International Market at Millcreek Common is a great opportunity for immigrant-owned businesses. It gives us a window to show Utah healthy products and many options.”

Karina Osorio is from Peru and has been in Utah for almost two years. “Nanapuras Peruvian Handicrafts was started in 1985. The family business has been around for 40 years,” Osorio said.

“I am so grateful to Millcreek Common for this opportunity. To exhibit my Peruvian products at the market. It can be very hard for a small business in a foreign country, but to have this kind of support and a physical space can help educate people about our culture through our garments made from alpaca and sheep wool. These are all made by hand and show the amazing things Peru has to offer,” Osorio said.

Don Jesus, LLC is a small business that sells flavored milk cream which is a Venezuelan tradition and owned by Karelys Olavarrieta. “Flavored creams are an explosion of flavors on the palate. I am very happy to be able to participate for the first time at the market at Millcreek. It has allowed small businesses to reach the community directly,” Olavarrieta said.

Rosette Bahati, owner of African Roots Fashion, spoke about the experience at the international market. “It helps a small business to improve and helps with sales. I sell baskets, jewelry, necklaces and home decor. The experience is good and my first time to be here and I made some friends. Millcreek Common is so nice for kids and families in the neighborhood and it is very safe.” 

Cynthia Ponce, designer and founder of Yawar Cotton, is from Peru and said, “I’m happy to share my dreams and those of other women who work at Yawar. Yawar is not regular fashion, it’s art. We want more people to know us and try our products.”

This opportunity at Millcreek Common has allowed Ponce to “share the purpose of my brand and to support women from vulnerable backgrounds to work. I want to share my culture and two of the most important natural fibers of Peru, alpaca and cotton.”

Alpha Ba and his wife, Khadija Wade are from Senegal in West Africa and are the owners of Safari Beauty Supply and they said, “This is a great experience and we have met different kinds of people from other nationalities.”

“We have been in the United States for 20 years. Most of our products are natural and handmade and we hope to get more stores in the area,” Ba added.

These businesses are part of the New Americans International Market at Millcreek Common and are open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. until June 23. λ