“Delayed not denied” is the mindset adopted by Shana Manradge when her food market was shut down by health officials.
According to NorthJersey.com, Manradge was previously selling products from Black-owned businesses and farms through her business, A Better Market. She was conducting business from her home and taking orders online with the goal of providing healthy food alternatives to her local community in Paterson, NJ.
However, her efforts were cut short by city health officials because she was operating without a license.
Nonetheless, Manradge did not allow this to stop her vision. She is currently looking to open a brick-and-mortar market, and she has already raised $50,000 from various fundraising events in the area.
Sal LaRosa, owner of La Neve’s Banquets, donated the use of his banquet hall for one of Manradge’s fundraisers because he says he sees the value in her services since getting a liver transplant three years ago.
“I watch what I eat, and it’s helping me. It’s nice that the community sees what this young woman’s doing,” LaRosa explained, according to the outlet.
Teresa McDermott, a cancer survivor and executive director of a local after-school program, has personally witnessed the market’s influence. Since health department regulations prevent Mandradge from storing products at home, she donates unused fresh fruits to McDermott’s program, Camp YDP.
“The kids are running to get the apples and oranges,” McDermott expressed, per the outlet. “It’s their preferred snack.”
McDermott says she is eagerly anticipating the market’s return to business, fully aware of its significance.
She added, “My daughter kept saying we need to eat better. We’re awaiting that brick-and-mortar, because we need it.”
Manradge notes that she’s still working to raise more funds to open her market in Paterson. The $50,000 so far is only “about one-fifth of what she needs,” per NorthJersey.com.
“I am currently looking for a commercial space. However, the rents in Paterson are very high,” Manradge told the outlet. “The requirements from the landlords are three months of finances. How can I show three months if I can’t sell? I need a space to sell. It is a Catch-22.”