Santa Monica welcomes first small business retail marketplace

June 13, 2024 9:58 AM

This press release was originally issued by Community Corporation of Santa Monica.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (June 13, 2024) – Community Corporation of Santa Monica, a non-profit organization that restores, builds, and manages affordable housing for people of modest means, hosted a ribbon-cutting event last week for Pico Roots, Santa Monica’s first small business retail marketplace. Pico Roots, with partial funding from the city of Santa Monica, will provide a platform for local entrepreneurs to grow and expand their businesses while celebrating diversity, culture and connection.

“We’re excited to open Santa Monica’s first small business marketplace and welcome seven amazing local entrepreneurs and their businesses,” said Tara Barauskas, executive director of Community Corporation. “Pico Roots will provide an opportunity for these businesses to connect with the broader Santa Monica community in a way that celebrates diversity, culture, and connection.”

The Pico Roots marketplace will offer a range of products to Santa Monica residents, with vendors including Adey Gojo Coffee and Catering, Tiny Bee Cards, Lucky Bug Clothing, Youthful Savings Marketplace, Sunny Moore Collection, Queens and Kings Hair Love It, and Soleil Satnam.

Santa Monica Mayor Phil Brock participated in the grand opening event and cut the ribbon for the marketplace. After, local community leaders and stakeholders met entrepreneurs, shared conversations and shopped in the new space.

“Last year, Brunson Terrace brought much-needed affordable housing to our city, and now this same property has Pico Roots Marketplace to support and lift up small businesses in our city’s most underserved community,” Mayor Phil Brock said. “This city-funded project makes great strides in three of our five key strategic priorities: Addressing Homelessness, Economic Growth & Cultural Vitality, and Justice, Equity & Diversity. It’s a win-win-win.”

"Pico Roots is giving small businesses a real opportunity to grow in a sustainable and community-forward way,” said Negin Singh, Pico Roots marketplace curator. “Community Corp. and the Pico neighborhood have poured their heart and soul into this project. These small businesses are going to become household names within the community and beyond.”

"Beautiful things happen when we invest in community leadership, and Pico Roots is the culmination of years of neighborhood advocacy,” said Cataline Langen, director of Santa Monica’s Bay Area Human Relations Council. "We are proud to administer the Wellbeing Microgrant Program and thrilled that two recipients are participating in the marketplace. We are looking forward to watching these businesses grow and thrive."

Throughout the opening weekend, the marketplace featured family-friendly festivities including collage making, children’s interactive play, and a family portrait studio. In the upcoming weeks, there will be more events and pop-up artists to activate the space.

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Tati Simonian
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