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Posts from the "Street Vending" Category

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Metro Diaries: 6 Stops with Daniel the Candy Man

“Two for a dollar…” Daniel poses with his Skittles just before he sold them to his colleague and went off to buy more chocolate to sell. Sahra Sulaiman/LA Streetsblog

“I GOT ARRESTED once,” Daniel said, cheerfully.

The charge was “disturbing the peace” and carried a fine of nearly $400.

“For selling candy??” I asked.

“For selling candy,” he said, shaking his head and gesturing toward his box of Skittles.

He agreed to 11 hours of community service, but still ended up paying a $175 fine.

“For selling CANDY,” he repeated.

The other riders packed into the Blue Line shook their heads in disbelief.

“I’m not disturbing the peace…I walk through fast saying, ‘Fifty cents. Two for a dollar. Fifty cents. Two for a dollar.’ I keep going…” he demonstrated, walking up and down the aisle. “If people want something, they stop me. Otherwise, I don’t bother them.”

Passengers behind him nodded. To many regular riders, he and other vendors are part of the landscape — and not necessarily an unwelcome one. Within two stops’ time, he had managed to sell the half a box worth of Snickers bars he had been holding when I first spotted him at the Washington-Grand stop. By the time he reached my end of the train, all he had left were a few citrus Skittles, and people continued to approach him for candy while we chatted. Read more…

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Street Vendors Raising Funds to Bring Back a Slice of Community

This evening, eight street vendors will be open for business to raise funds so they can sell legally at a future evening farmers market in Boyle Heights. While the public munches on food like tacos dorados, and pupusas, their spent money will go toward helping the street vendors buy equipment and cover other overhead costs.  The vendors will be open from 5:00 to 10:00 P.M. in front of the offices of the East Los Angeles Community Corporation,  530 South Boyle Avenue.

To see a full sized copy of the poster, click on the image. For the Spanish language version, click here.

The street vendors sold food at the informal Breed Street Food Fair until the police forced them out in 2009.

“It actually created a safe market. People were more vigilant when they were in mass numbers. And then they weren’t prey to negative sources,”said Mike Dennis, ELACC’s director of community organizing. If enough money is raised – the goal is $15,000 – the evening farmers market could bring back a Breed Street style of community interaction, Dennis said.

The equipment most street vendors currently use don’t adhere to local codes for food vendors because they are makeshift.  These carts and stands are cost effective, they only cost a couple hundred dollars.  In comparison, the more expensive equipment that adheres to health and safety codes cost nearly $1,500 in most cases.

Boyle Heights resident Jessica Perez highlights the event  on her Mis Neighbors blog and gives her local take on the situation:   Read more…