VIDEO: Flatbush Caton Market reopens in temporary location

February 1, 2018 By Liliana Bernal Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Over the span of 17 years, the Flatbush Caton Market has been a vibrant Caribbean bazaar at the corner of Flatbush and Caton avenues, housing more than 30 former street vendors and giving them an interior space to sell their goods.

Last summer, the market was closed and then relocated to a temporary location at 2184 Clarendon Road this November while developers work on its former site. Construction will add about 255 mixed-income residential units and a renovated space for the market that will return once redevelopment is complete.

Meanwhile, last weekend Flatbush Caton officially reopened its doors to customers at the new facility and celebrated it with a two-day event. The festivities featured Caribbean music and traditional foods as well as cultural activities such as carnival crown making and guided tours through the market.

The intention was “to reintroduce the marketplace to existing patrons and welcome new supporters,” according to a statement.

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At the new location, almost all vendors from the original site and a few newcomers, preside over stalls along two corridors where they merchandise clothing, music, dry foods, personal care products and services, prepared foods, Caribbean flags, handcrafted jewelry and other products.

“I just want everybody who was their former customers to come here, to sustain them, to keep them, so that when we’re ready to go back to Flatbush and Caton, we’ll be able to keep the customer base strong and growing,” said Una Clarke, a former councilmember and market founder.

Flatbush is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Brooklyn, with many immigrants from Caribbean countries, as well as African-Americans and Latinos. Clarke said the market is an important institution for the community because its residents can find products they’re used to, and that are part of their culture.

“I just want everybody to know, every other ethnic group who [is] from the United States of America has created for themselves things that are significant to them and to people,” Clarke added.

Former New York state Sen. Dr. Waldaba Stewart said “I have a dream that this site is not going to be temporary, that this site is going to be Flatbush Caton mart No. 2.”

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