Community comes out to support Portland Mercado after food carts - KPTV - FOX 12

Community comes out to support Portland Mercado after food carts vandalized

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Portland Mercado located on Southeast Foster Road (KPTV) Portland Mercado located on Southeast Foster Road (KPTV)

Food carts located at the Portland Mercado were broken into and damaged this past weekend, and the community is banding together with cart owners to support the popular Latino cultural hub of food.

Business owners said vandals broke into six of the ten food carts and eight of the food carts were damaged. The vandals stole cash, equipment and personal items.

The damages are hard for people like City Commissioner Nick Fish to process.

"When I heard about what happened here, people vandalizing the trucks and stealing from these hard working small business people, I was outraged. I can't believe it would happen in our city," said Commissioner Fish.

News of the damage spread fast online, drawing support from neighbors and loyal customers. Even people that had never heard of the Portland Mercado came to show support and found out how good the food really is.

"It is my first time here, I think. I know this is going to sound corny, but I think I'm going to be back. I just got a chicken burrito but it's the best chicken burrito I've ever had," said Holly Hart.

Meanwhile, food cart owners said they are encouraged by the turnout and support for small businesses in the city.

"It's been more crowded today, and I think that people want to support a small business and we are a small business and we like that response," said Gaudencio Felipe, Manager of Mixteca Catering.

The estimated damage from the vandalism is nearly $25,000, but cart owners say the small business mentality of Portland Mercado will prevail in the end.

"I think we're all going to bounce back. Small businesses make this thing function and we'll get back to it," said Felipe.

An online donation page has been set up to raise money for the vendors. If you would like to help, click here. You can also show your support by going down and grabbing a bite to eat. Portland Mercado is located at 7238 Southeast Foster Road.

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