With many stores and venues closing or limiting operations due to the pandemic, Reasons to Love Long Beach and the clothing company Stay Anchored invited local small businesses to participate in an outdoor marketplace in the parking lot of Roxanne’s bar on Sunday, Aug. 30.
Among those affected by the health crisis is Long Beach icon Kelvin Anderson of the World Famous VIP Records.
“We’ve actually been closed since March,” Anderson told the Signal Tribune, “Since the epidemic started, so it’s affected my business tremendously. Hopefully, in the next week or so they will give us the all clear to open back up to customers. I was invited to come out today to do this little pop up and so I threw together a few items and came out to make a little money and enjoy the day, to meet new people in the community.”
Anderson’s booth was stocked with apparel including shirts with the signature World Famous VIP Records sign on them, as well as hats and masks.
Another local vendor, Sarah Pilchman Ceramics, has experienced fluctuations in her usual wholesale orders since the health crisis caused some of her customers to close their shops.
“It’s been interesting,” Pilchman said. “I sell mostly wholesale. I sell around the country to over 60 businesses now, including five in Long Beach, and some of those stores have closed because they are small businesses too, and a couple have really flourished– like nurseries have really been selling very well. So it’s been a lot of ups and downs for sure.”
Pilchman creates tiny, multi-purpose ceramic pots in unique shapes and colors, sold for $11 each or 5 for $50. While most people use them as planters for air plants and succulents, they have many possible uses.
“They’re multifunctional,” Pilchman told the Signal Tribune, “They’re food safe, they’re dishwasher safe. They’re really good as match strikers, if you get strike-anywhere matches. They’re great for sake glasses, shot glasses, but most people use them for plants.”
Food companies owned by Long Beach residents also drew long lines of customers during the event, including Flaccos Tacos, Junkies LBC and Royal Gourmet Cookies.
Flaccos Tacos is owned by Long Beach couple Adrain Molina and Simone Jackson, and serves options such as tacos, mulitas, burritos and quesadillas crusted with an outer layer of cheese, as well as $1 street tacos and $2 shrimp tacos. Their meats, especially the shrimp, are well seasoned and full of flavor.
Royal Gourmet Cookies offered classics like chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles, as well as owner Emerald Austin’s own creations, like PMS Oh Yes, made with pieces of Snickers, Twix and Kit Kat baked in along with chocolate chips.
Both Flaccos Tacos and Royal Gourmet Cookies completely sold out by the end of the event, the businesses posted on social media.
To participate in future outdoor markets planned by Reasons to Love Long Beach, businesses must be owned by a Long Beach resident and register themselves for the Reasons to Love Long Beach Locals Map online.