Revamped Flatbush Caribbean marketplace reopens after 5-year hiatus
The market formerly known as Flatbush Caton Market is finally reopened after closing temporarily in 2017 to be redeveloped.
The reimagined Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace is back and now selling everything from cultural clothing to accessories.
Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados are all represented at the store.
The marketplace features more than two dozen vendors, most of which have been with the market for more than 20 years.
It's a vision that was brought to life by former Councilmember Dr. Una Clarke, who wanted to give vendors a permanent home. Some of the vendors once sold their merchandise on the streets.
"The community got outraged by it especially Community Board 14," says Clarke. "Asked me to take my immigrants like myself back to where we came from. I decided it was not going to happen. I hardened my resolve."
Clarke led the charge for funding so vendors could sell their products in tents before ultimately moving to a permanent building.
With the help of the city's Economic Development Corporation and other agencies, the building was revamped to include a Caribbean-themed food hall, a commercial kitchen and even a bar and lounge.
Clarke says the marketplace will make its mark in the community, giving pride to Caribbean-Americans who have struggled.
Although the market is open, staff say a large grand opening is planned for the spring.