Taste of East Village
Crafters and food vendors unite for unforgettable Downtown Long Beach experience
By Danielle Corpus Contributor
The Taste of Downtown returned to the East Village Arts District on March 15 and 16. From people walking their dogs and chatting amongst one another to various local vendors, the Taste of Downtown celebrated the small business community.
“What’s great about Long Beach is the local support that helps keep my business growing,” said Romeo Garcia, owner of Romeo Chocolates.
Romeo Chocolates is a pop-up chocolate company based proudly out of Downtown Long Beach. Garcia is excited about getting the word out about his growing company and upcoming grand opening of his brick and mortar shop. The shop will not only sell chocolates and craft drinks like Mexican hot chocolate, but will also offer chocolate-pairing events. Romeo Chocolates on Pine Avenue is scheduled to open in May 2017.
From vendor to vendor everyone seemed to have a different story, but everyone had one thing in common: their love for Long Beach.
“We consider ourselves a super Long Beach brand,” said Krysta Lin, founder and designer for Youth Independent Party clothing company.
Youth Independent Party, otherwise known as YIP, brands itself on being designed and made in Long Beach. They are a direct to consumer, no retail, company that tries to live by the statement, “Buy sustainability, do it affordably.” The clothes are made out of 50 percent up-cycled cotton and 50 percent recycled polyester in a company that uses 150 percent solar power.
Being a company so invested in Long Beach, Lin was excited to be a part of Taste of Downtown for the first time.
“We just love this event,” said Lin behind her table filled with clothing for one to 10 year olds.
Tickets were sold for $1 each. After purchasing tickets, people could then eat at various vendors lining the streets in order to taste a little bit of what each person had to offer. Shops located in the area participated in the event by extending their hours and offering 1 ticket for every $10 spent in store.
The smell of pizza, BBQ, and seafood combined with the music playing throughout the streets, really gave the East Village Arts District a small town vibe that many know and love about Long Beach. The Taste of Downtown further displayed the deep connection between small businesses and the community, the connection that makes Long Beach so unique.
Taste of Downtown Pine Avenue comes to Long Beach on May 3 and 4.