Local vendors, shoppers enjoy Winter Popup Market in downtown Tyler | Business

Vendors around East Texas gathered in downtown Tyler on Saturday to participate in the Winter Popup Market.

Event organizer Kristi McDonald said they held a successful holiday market and “all the vendors wanted to come back,” so they launched the Winter Popup Market which will continue through March.

“People are trying to get their businesses started back up, and looking for things to do again,” McDonald said, adding Saturday’s show had a great turnout of both vendors and shoppers.

Vendors were set up around the downtown square, each one different than the next. Snackney Brand Freeze Fried Goods, owned and operated by Adam and Brandi Prince, was among the many different kind of items being showcased.

“This is our second show, we’re fairly new to freeze drying. We do it at home and we’ve been trying to stock up on products,” Prince said.

Freeze drying is a process that removes the water content from the food. Brandi and her husband purchased a machine from Harvest Right.

“The machine freezes them (the candy) at such a low temperature and then it’s a vacuum. Then it heats up and the moisture expands out of it, that’s why they get so big,” Prince explained.

The market had different options for shoppers to explore. Nadia Long proudly displayed her jewelry “Cora Made by Nadia” as one of the vendor booths. Other vendors also explained their passion behind their products.

“I have been baking since I was little,” said Tamesha Williams, of Tamesha’s Tasty Treats. “I just love baking all types of things and experimenting with things and trying different things. I started in October 2022 and had my first event in December and got excited about it.”

Williams also had orders where people have asked her to make them items for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Her business can be found and followed on Facebook under “Tamesha’s Tasty Treats- New Page.”

Despite a bit of rain interrupting live music, the market continued on strong. While patrons stopped around the various booths, they also were able to grab some coffee samples at Bruno’s Cafe.

Bruno’s Cafe was started by Natalya Vanezuela, Victor Jaimez II, and Rocio Blanco of Tyler.

“To actually bring Colombian culture into the US is kind of hard, because you don’t really hear about it,” said Jaimez. “The only thing you hear about in Colombia is all the negative stuff, but there’s so many wonderful things about Colombia. It’s such a vibrant and fun culture.”

Bruno’s Cafe, named after the character Bruno from the 2021 Disney movie Encanto, features imported Colombian coffee and chocolate.

“The coffee is cultivated by hand, and a hundred percent natural,” said Jaimez. “The reason why it’s so good is because since this is for the Colombian market they have the freshest beans and the freshest coffee.”

“People are creating their own recipes,” said Rocio Blanco. “They ask us can we mix your chocolate with the coffee, and we say of course! We prepare the coffee how they like it.”

Natalya Vanezuela is an exchange student from Columbia. She stays with Blanco and Jaimez while taking classes at UT Tyler. She is excited to bring her culture into East Texas.

“I love it because they’re knowing my culture and they love the coffee,” she said.

The Winter Popup Markets are scheduled through February and March and will likely be the third weekend of each month, McDonald said.

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