Food, Family and Fun at the Highland Park Village Local

Highland Park Village was buzzing last Saturday with live music, games for kids, and vendors selling different specialties.

Classic popcorn, olive oil and dog collars were just a few of the items for sale in the village. Once a month, Highland Park Village hosts a Local Artisan Market featuring over 30 Dallas-Fort Worth vendors.

“The Local market started almost three years ago and is a great way to get the community to support local artisans,” said Claire Morgan, one of the event’s coordinators. “We look for vendors that would be a great match to the Village but are always open to new vendors and new products.”

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Local vendors line the parking lot of Highland Park Village shops Photo credit: Catherine Neilson

One of the first vendors close to the entrance of the HP Village shops was Alfredo Balvanera’s company called Amanida. Amanida sells a variety of onions, sun-dried tomatoes and tapas traditional to Spain.

“We are the number one firm for olives, artichokes, and tapas in Spain, and I am excited to participate in Local to educate people about Spain and some of our traditional food,” Balvanera said. This was Alfredo’s first time as a vendor at the Local market and he plans to participate every month.

Folklore is an artisan concept boutique that sells handmade children’s clothing from Bolivia and Guatemala. Purchases help provide clean drinking water to children in rural Guatemala. Next to its display of children’s clothing, Folklore had a water drinking station with one of the filters. The water is filtered at a rate of two liters per hour and removes micro-organisms that cause infections and diseases. The purpose of the project is to keep children and families healthy so that they are able to attend school.

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Folklore's water filter that provides clean drinking water to children in Guatemala Photo credit: Catherine Neilson

OETL is a linens and cottons brand that works with designers from Europe and South America. The fabrics are handmade on looms, and they bring a luxury element to the event. The company name stands for Ora et Labora, which means ‘pray and work’ in Latin. OETL is all about artisan craftsmanship and how, when one creates with their entire being, the fruits of their labor is filled with a higher meaning that is passed on to the one who receives it. OETL wants to share this passion for craftsmanship and creativity to the people attending the local market.

Many families were in attendance, walking around with strollers and waiting in line for their children to get their faces painted. Some children sat at the crafts table, while their parents picked out groceries, like farm fresh eggs, or tasted sparkling apple cider vinegar. HP Village shoppers perused through the vendors’ wares. Some shoppers came with their dogs.

SMU student Maggie Borders enjoyed her time at the event.

“The Local Market is a fun thing to do on a beautiful Saturday,” Borders said. “I loved trying all the different food samples and seeing clothing and gifts I wouldn’t find in normal boutique stores.”

The next Local Artisan Market will be Oct. 20 and will feature some of the same vendors as well as new ones.