Photos courtesy of BRP Companies
A beloved Caribbean market in Brooklyn is hosting a grand opening event this weekend, celebrating the return to its original home. The Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace, formerly known as Flatbush Caton Market, will host a weekend-long party with shopping, live music, food tastings, dance performances, panel discussions, art classes, and more, starting on Friday, May 13 through Saturday, May 14. The marketplace sits on the ground floor of Caton Flats, a new 14-story mixed-use development on 800 Flatbush Avenue that replaced the former market.
Established in 2000, the Flatbush Caton Market was founded by former Council Member Dr. Una Clarke, the first Caribbean-born woman elected to the Council, who wanted to provide a permanent home for vendors and entrepreneurs of Flatbush’s Caribbean community.
In 2017 during the construction of Caton Flats, the market temporarily relocated to nearby Claredon Road. After more than four years, the market officially returned to its home on Caton Avenue this past February with a new name, but with 29 original vendors.
In addition to shops, Flatbush Central offers expanded space for food vendors, including a Caribbean-themed and global food hall and two bars/lounges. The market will also be home to “Mangrove,” a commercial test kitchen with “content creation and demonstration capabilities and production facilities for natural body care and cosmetics, new media, and textile production, specifically targeting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs,” according to a press release.
Throughout the grand opening weekend, enjoy free programs for all ages, like Haitian folk music and drumming, a collage and printing workshop, stilt dancing, soap-making classes, free headshots, a curry powder-making workshop, double-barrel rum tasting, and more.
Developed by BRP Companies, Caton Flats is just two blocks from the Parkside Avenue Q train station, next to Prospect Park. The building has 255 units of 100 percent affordable housing, about 10,000 square feet of retail, and 5,000 square feet for the Caribbean Trade Center and headquarters for the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI).
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Neighborhoods : Flatbush