The Harambee Market (HM) was founded in June 2014 by Melanie Lacy. The idea started as a small monthly gathering in her apartment with her selling her famous Yum Yum Cafe’ soul-food vegan and raw food dishes. Many of her artsy and creative sistah-friends would stop by and purchase a plate (or two), eat, chit-chat, stay awhile, and eventually barter with one another with the unique products they created. Everyone brought something to the gathering. From homemade deodorant (Yes, we have a sistah here who makes vegan-friendly deodorant from scratch!) to natural hair care products. It was when Melanie’s space become a bit cramped for the monthly gathering that it was time to seek out a larger place which would allow her to sell food to more customers along with enough space that her friends could set up tables and test out selling their wares. That new location was Afrodesia Studio of Performing Arts. And the new name for this collective works, the Harambee Market.
With a new space to call home, a total of eight vendors, mostly friends of Melanie’s, came out on what was probably the rainiest day of the year. Shango showed up with booming thunder, lightening and an endless downpour of rain! But vendors still came out and huddled together inside as a family unit. The motto that day was: “Be it rain or shine, we’re gonna shine!” So that Sunday. June 8, 2014 was the birth of the Harambee Market Little Rock featuring vegan food by Yum Yum Cafe’. The space was perfect. The vendors where in good spirits and despite the wet weather the community came out and supported with their love, warm hugs, well wishes, and of course – their purchases! Since then the Harambee Market Little Rock has grown to incorporate a vendor network that promotes, supports and creates opportunity for small independent business sustainability in the community. Our cooperative economic village has grown with up to 30 plus vendors that come from in and around the city of Little Rock, as well as Pine Bluff, and as far as Memphis, Tn.
At the Harambee Market you will find a unique and exciting venue featuring arts & crafts, African imports, hand-crafted merchandise, and so much more. This is the only one of its kind here in the Natural State with a sincere interest in local economics. The market serves as a place to facilitate business productivity in the spirit of Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics). We ask that you come out, shop and totally immerse yourself in the positive energy and vibe the market creates.
In addition to vendors selling their products we encourage and engage in meaningful socialization among us. We are building a village. We support one another. We are one.
Join the movement! Come shop, support, and bring back what we once had. Come every 3rd Sunday of the month and embrace the spirit of Harambee!