Downtown Market column: Mama’s Mangos is a family affair |

Downtown Market column: Mama’s Mangos is a family affair

Rosa and Beltran of Mama's Mangos with children Sophia, 8, and 4-month-old Emilio.

It is market day today, and that makes it my favorite day of the week. I love the vibrancy of our market, the welcoming park that we get to set up in, while the music and the shade of the big beautiful trees lure you to stay out of the sun and bid you to sit in one of our chairs for as long as you would like. Our vendors are some of the nicest people, and every year we welcome new vendors and long-time vendors into our little oasis.

There is something special about our market, about the people and city of Glenwood that makes this market seem more amazing each week. And while I have only been on the board for a few years, Cindy and I delight in watching our vendors grow. Mama’s Mangos is one that absolutely brings a smile to us; not only do we get to watch people of all ages delight in sinking their teeth into one of their mangos as they meander the park but because they are a wonderful growing family.

In 2010 the market board members arrived at Centennial Park to set up that Tuesday’s Market, and Mama was already there. The board members tried to talk with her and let her know that she was not on their vendor list but that she would be a welcome addition. At that time Mama spoke very little to no English, but thankfully her daughter Rosa and Rosa’s husband Beltran came to help the two parties communicate. They explained to the market that Mama wanted something to do and earn a little money with and had decided to sell mangos. The market immediately got attached to Mama and her family.

Mama has now retired to California and is with her other daughters, but we are so grateful that Rosa and Beltran have kept the business alive. In 2010 when the market first met Rosa and Beltran they had just had Sophia. Now while you are at our market you will frequently find 8-year-old Sophia pushing her new 4-month-old brother Emilio through the park in his stroller. It has been such a pleasure watching this family grow.

We encourage you to stop by our little oasis today from 4-8 p.m., say hello to Rosa and her family and maybe pick up one of their mangos. Stay awhile, enjoy the shaded park, maybe make a new friend or just delight in the little break of routine that our market and our beautiful location provides. If you find yourself hungry you are in just the right place, we have deliciously amazing Greek food and tamales. Or you can sit in our lawn chair and enjoy some fresh Palisade peaches. Either way we invite you to come and stay awhile.

If you arrive by 5:45 p.m. you can sit and enjoy our cooking demo. This week we welcome Chef Neal from Native Son restaurant, who will be demonstrating some of its cuisine, which can be found at the new downtown restaurant. Also this week, starting at 5 p.m., we are thrilled to announce we have Izzy Plotkin and Natalie Spears in our music tent, who welcome you to enjoy their raw rhythms of Appalachian fiddle/banjo duets, singing and more. While you are here, stop by the market booth for a free cupcake (compliments of Confetti Design), whirly gigs, and other festive 4th of July things. Just a reminder we continue to double up EBT and WIC Farm Bucks to $20. We look forward to seeing you there.

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