New York City Public Markets are unique public places that celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures, communities, and cuisine of the city we love.
Since the beginning, pushcart vendors would congregate below the Metro-North tracks stretching down Park Avenue from 111th street to 119th street, selling produce under the makeshift canopy of trains and steel above. The City acted to keep the established location and in 1936, Mayor LaGuardia opened the Park Avenue Retail Market, an enclosed public market that stands today. As East Harlem transformed into Spanish Harlem in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, the Park Avenue Retail Market became “La Marqueta.” Unique foods and small dry goods were sold to East Harlem, Central Harlem, and South Bronx residents, as well as customers from other neighborhoods who would travel to the market, all buying ethnic foods unavailable elsewhere in the city.
Today, the deep-rooted culinary and entrepreneurial traditions of
La Marqueta continues to thrive. Within the public retail market, everything from cupcakes to canelés makes for a sweet trip to this East Harlem destination. In the back, the incubator kitchen program— an initiative by Hot Bread Kitchen—provides invaluable production space and business skills for small, artisanal and ethnic food entrepreneurs. Recently, the City Council and NYCEDC are spearheading development work on this vibrant market, recreating the community focal point of La Placita and holistically redeveloping much of the existing market. La Marqueta is the cornerstone to East Harlem and the market is gearing up for a fresh, delicious, and greater future.
LA PLACITA: 10/31/2019 GRAND OPENING
NYCEDC celebrated the reopening of beloved community plaza and outdoor space La Placita at La Marqueta in East Harlem. Immediately following the ribbon cutting for the plaza, Councilmember Diana Ayala and NYCEDC hosted a Halloween party for local children and their families which featured games, pumpkin decorating, music, food from La Marqueta vendors, and more. The project was made possible with support from former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito—who provided $5M in City funding for the renovation—and Councilmember Diana Ayala. Aaris Design served as the lead architect for the project and Hunter Roberts was the lead contractor assigned to the redesign.
The new plaza amenities will include:
• Community engagement space
• Concession space
• Exhibition space
• Insulation from the street
Tabatha Lozano is the owner of Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe, a traditional Puerto Rican bakery that she opened at La Marqueta in 2016. She has a wide selection of custom-made cakes, flans, cheesecakes, cupcakes, cookies and other traditional Caribbean treats.
Tabatha’s most popular product is her Guava Quesito and she has recently expanded her cake line to cater to all sorts of designs and custom creations. Her busiest days at La Marqueta tend to be Thursdays through Saturdays and she currently employs two interns and an aspiring young baker from a nearby housing project.
December Holiday Pop-Up La Placita December 7th, 14th, 21st
· Admission is free
· Location: Park Avenue between 115th Streets and 116th Streets
· Come join us for great music, great food, and gift shopping for the holiday season! Support your local market vendors and artists.
Three Kings Day January 6th
· Admission is free
· Location: La Placita (La Marqueta) at Park Avenue between 115th Streets and 116th Streets
· Come celebrate Three Kings Day with your local community! Appetizers, hot chocolate and music will be served.