A monthly community market celebrating the food, arts and culture of New Brunswick and its diverse Latino community

Upcoming Events

Nov 22
Mercado Institute
12:00 pm - 4:30 pmDetails
Dec 06
Mercado Institute
12:00 pm - 4:30 pmDetails
Dec 20
Mercado Institute
12:00 pm - 4:30 pmDetails

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(English below)
Hoy en el día de #GivingTuesday, New Brunswick Tomorrow, una de las tres organizaciones que colaboran en el Mercado, compartió sobre el gran trabajo que nuestra chef y vendedora María Bravo ha estado haciendo durante la pandemia. ¡Felicitaciones y gracias a María y a todos los que han mantenido vivo el espíritu y la misión del Mercado Esperanza durante estos tiempos difíciles!

Today on #GivingTuesday, New Brunswick Tomorrow, one of the three organizations that partner in the Mercado, shared about the great work that Mercado chef and vendor María Bravo has been doing during the pandemic. Congratulations and thanks to María and everyone who has been keeping the spirit and mission of the Mercado Esperanza alive during these tough times!Today is Giving Tuesday! Your support helps us improve the lives for the 56,000+ residents of New Brunswick. Please donate today so we can continue to help people like Maria Bravo.


Read Maria's story below:

In October 2017, NBT launched the resident-led Mercado Esperanza, in partnership with Elijah's Promise and coLAB Arts to provide a vibrant, monthly community gathering place, a springboard for local microentrepreneurs, and a creative cultural celebration of our diverse Latino community.

Maria Bravo was one of the first people to participate in the Mercado Esperanza pilot program. Since then, she has participated in every Mercado. Her dishes stand out because although they are easy to prepare, she adds her own unique flavor using a recipe that makes them very delicious.

With the onset of COVID-19, the monthly Mercado Esperanza was put on hold, but entrepreneurs like Maria quickly adapted. She worked with Elijah’s Promise to cook meals that were provided in their community kitchen, serving approximately 325 meals each week to our most vulnerable residents -- preparing over 8,200 hot meals since May!

Your gift to New Brunswick Tomorrow will help entrepreneurs like Maria continue to build their business skills, so they can provide for their families and help them reach “their American Dream.”

Donate today! www.nbtomorrow.org/donate
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(English below)
Hoy tuvimos el placer de participar en la conferencia nacional de la iniciativa "FreshLo" de la fundación The Kresge Foundation. Primero, nuestros maravillosas líderes del Teatro Esperanza, Carolina Moratti y Tanaquil Marquez, compartieron el poema bilingüe sobre inmigración creado por los participantes del Teatro. Luego, Anthony Capece y Daniel Swern hablaron sobre nuestros esfuerzos para hacer crecer el Mercado durante estos últimos cinco años y adaptarnos durante la pandemia. ¡Gracias a The Kresge Foundation por apoyar este proyecto y permitirnos aprender de tantas otras grantes organizaciones por todo el país!

Today we were pleased to participate in the national convening of The Kresge Foundation's FreshLo initiative. First our wonderful Teatro Esperanza leaders Tanaquil Marquez and Carolina Moratti shared the bilingual poem about immigration created by the Teatro participants. Then Anthony Capece and Daniel Swern presented about our journey to grow the Mercado over these past five years and adapt during the pandemic. Thanks to Kresge for supporting this project and allowing us to learn from so many other great organizations throughout the country!
Elijah's Promise New Brunswick Tomorrow coLAB Arts Esperanza Neighborhood Project
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3 weeks ago

Mercado Esperanza

Recordando 😊
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1 month ago

Mercado Esperanza

¡No te olvides de acompañarnos hoy a las 3pm para el festival virtual con Corazón Latino: Hub City Sounds! Tendremos un día lleno de música, presentaciones, videos especiales de nuestros miembros del Mercado, y mucho más!

Haz clic en el siguiente link para conectarte:

Don't forget to join us today at 3pm for the Virtual Festival with Corazon Latino: Hub City Sounds! We will have a day full of music, presentations, special videos from our Mercado members, and much more!

Click the following link to join: tinyurl.com/HCSCorazonLatino
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Visit Mercado Esperanza

The Mercado Esperanza is a showcase for local New Brunswick vendors and a fun family event in the style of a Latin American plaza. Come visit us to taste, see, and hear New Brunswick’s diverse Latino culture!

Our market events at Joyce Kilmer Park feature local food and craft vendors, entertainers, musicians, artists, and more! The Mercado is a place of community and has something for everyone. The Mercado runs monthly from spring to fall on Sunday afternoons (see upcoming events for more details). There is parking available both at Joyce Kilmer Park and on surrounding streets nearby.

Know that when you shop at a Mercado event, your purchases directly support local micro-enterprises, with 100% of the profits going to our vendors.

Whether you are visiting our community for the first time or have been a longtime resident, we look forward to welcoming you at the Mercado Esperanza!

Our Vendors

Do you want to vend at our next Mercado?

The Mercado Esperanza supports local, emerging entrepreneurs who want to generate income as they share their talents and products with the community. Our main sales opportunity is our monthly Mercado from April through October, but regular vendors may also have access to additional sales opportunities throughout the year.

View Details & Apply

Saul & Anel Jauregui

Meet Saul & Anel Jauregui. They have participated in the Mercado since the beginning of 2019. Saul started by selling natural juices and then mangonadas. They decided to sell natural juices to promote healthy options to help the community with their well-being and nutrition. "We enjoy participating in the Mercado because of the contact with [...]

Lisandra Cruz

Lisandra Cruz, also known as Chef Cruz, established her brand "Sabor Taíno” in July 2018, indicating a mixture of the authentic flavor of the Taínos of Puerto Rico and Venezuela. The name came out of a desire to preserve the combination of cultures and the inclusion of Creole dishes alongside more modern food. With that [...]

Maria Bravo

Meet Maria Bravo with her brand "Maria and the Three Princesses." The name of her brand represents Maria’s three daughters who come to support her at every Mercado. She comments, “As a mother, it makes me proud to have my daughters near me when I am participating in the Mercado. I can give my daughters [...]

Olga & Teresa Fernandez

Teresa and Olga Fernández, known as the Fernandez Sisters began to participate in the Mercado in May 2018. Since then, they have worked together sharing with us their delicious quesadillas and fresh waters, and very recently tortas (Mexican sandwiches). Mercado after Mercado we always notice the work and effort of the Fernandez sisters and we [...]

Victor Hernandez

Meet Victor Hernandez. Currently, Victor sells different types of toys such as plastic toy guns, carts, dolls, and much more. He has participated in the Mercado since July 2018. Victor's participation in the Mercado began because he noticed that there were children playing in the park and there was no vendor selling toys.  “I thought [...]

Mark Stephenson

Meet Mark Stephenson, who has participated in the Mercado since its launch in October 2017, bringing to the Mercado delicious burgers, hot dogs, and tropical drinks. To distinguish himself from the rest, Mark brings "Dog" an inflatable Hot Dog to use as his mascot throughout the Mercado season. Born and raised in New Brunswick, Mark [...]

Jhoana Mancilla & Manuel Sabas

Meet Jhoana Mancilla and Manuel Sabas. They have participated in the Mercado since June 2018. From the beginning, they started selling Tacos Placeros because they wanted to bring that tradition from their hometown of Puebla. Similar to a regular taco, the Tacos Placeros are made from handmade tortillas, with choice of meat, beef, pork, chicken, [...]

Gaudencio Ferrer

Almost everyone is familiar with at least some  traditional and artisanal Mexican food but have you tried a Tepache? Meet Gaudencio Ferrer, who since May 2019 has been sharing this craft drink at the Mercado. The Tepache drink comes from Nahuatl Tepatli, which means “corn drink.” This artisanal drink, of pre-hispanic origin, is obtained through [...]


About the Mercado

The Mercado Esperanza is a community-led initiative sponsored by Elijah’s Promise, New Brunswick Tomorrow, and coLAB Arts. Building on previous work in the areas of healthy food access, neighborhood development, and creative placemaking, the three partners embarked on a planning process in 2016 – with support from the Kresge Foundation’s FreshLo initiative – to determine how to integrate and scale up these efforts for greater community impact.

The Mercado Esperanza was born in late 2017 after a year of planning and dialogue with local residents and other stakeholders, and embarked on the first full season in 2018. Along the way, the Friends of the Mercado group was created with resident leaders from New Brunswick Tomorrow’s Esperanza Neighborhood Project to act as a project steering committee. They, together with our core vendors group, continue to give direction to the project and work alongside organizational staff to continually make our collective vision of the Mercado Esperanza a reality: a vibrant community gathering place, a springboard for local entrepreneurial success, and a creative cultural celebration.

The Mercado Institute: Art. Food. Community.

Mercado Institute is a project of Mercado Esperanza bringing art and food directly to your home. This project was developed through the Mercado Esperanza, a partnership between coLAB Arts, Elijah’s Promise and New Brunswick tomorrow fostering food entrepreneurship and creative placemaking in the Esperanza Neighborhood.

What is the Institute?

1) Student Art Workshops
Any families who have middle, high school, or college aged students in their household can register them for the arts distribution and workshop program. Participating students will receive weekly deliveries of art supplies and a schedule of online live tutorials on how to create projects that speak to the energy, diversity, challenges, and hopes of the Mercado Esperanza community.

2) Meal Distribution
Families can register all household members to receive one weekly meal. Meals will be provided on Sunday afternoons. Participating vendors from the Mercado Esperanza will create these meals to be shared with our community, free of charge.

Click to Learn More about the Mercado Institute

Thank you to Our Partners & Sponsors