Upon moving to Coldstream Homestead Montebello last September, Nicole Foster and her husband Dwight Campbell found themselves wanting for more at their neighborhood’s namesake lake.
“We noticed that after walking the lake, people would just kind of walk and go home,” Foster says. “There was no gathering place for people, there was no place for people to get a cup of coffee, get a sandwich or anything like that.”
At least once a month for the next half-year, those traveling the serene 1.4-mile loop around the Northeast Baltimore reservoir will find plenty to do.
Foster and Campbell, owners of vegan creamery Cajou, have worked with community associations nearby, as well as 20 Baltimore vendors, to set up a monthly market series with live music and healthy options for market-goers.
Included are Zeke’s Coffee, refugee chef co-op Mera Kitchen Collective and Belvedere Square chocolatiers Pure Chocolate by Jinji, plus smaller-scale merchants like Blondie’s Doughnuts, Orange Scissor Art (local artist Sarah Berger) and Scent City Candle Company, among others. Foster and Campbell will also be there selling their plant-based ice creams.
Each market will also include live music–this weekend features DJ Harvey Dent– plus healthy activities, from fitness to farming. For this Saturday, there’s free yoga taught by instructors from Bikram Yoga Works in Mount Vernon (starting at 11 a.m.), a healthy cooking demo from Magdalena’s Chef Cat (noon) and a composting demo from Filbert Street Garden’s Baltimore Compost Collective (1 p.m.)
Market proceeds will benefit various organizations; for May, they’ll go to Montebello Elementary to help rebuild the school’s vegetable garden.
Foster said the focus on fitness ties in with healthy eating and the ability for locals to grow their own produce–particularly in areas nearby where healthy options aren’t abundant.
When the inaugural market series wraps up in October, “we hope that we’ll have galvanized support for greener initiatives in that area,” Foster said. “If we can, we’ll have been doing something great.”
Future dates for the Market at Montebello series are June 22, July 20, Aug. 24, Sept. 21, Oct. 19.