June 30 2022

Celebrate summer with local Black-owned businesses at the 2nd Street Market

Many of our favorite celebrations revolve around food, friends and family, and summer is no different. If you’re planning to host a 4th of July barbeque, look no further than the 2nd Street Market to shop for fresh, local food and support local Black-owned businesses.

Sourcing your food locally means your dollars stay in the local economy and your food spends less time getting from the Earth to your table.

“When you shop at the 2nd Street Market, you are buying from your neighbors,” said 2nd Street Market Manager Lynda Suda. “You are often able to speak directly to the people who are growing and preparing your food, which gives you the ability to know what’s fresh and in-season.”

As temps are rising and many are feeling the heat, there’s an environmental factor that comes into play when shopping local. The less time your product spends on the road, the less carbon is emitted getting your food from the farm to your fridge. Indeed, shopping practices can help you be more sustainable, as can making simple changes to your diet.

If you’re looking to make an even bigger impact on the environment and your health, think about incorporating more plant-based options in meals and seasonal festivities. In fact, Black Americans are leading the way when it comes to taking the leap to becoming more plant-based with their diets. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 8% of Black Americans identify as vegan or vegetarian, as compared to just 3% of the general population.

Many people of color report making the switch for the environment, animal rights and their health.

Rhea Adkins, owner of Vegan It IZ Eats, a 2nd Street Market prepared food vendor, started prepping food with more plants after a spiritual fast, during which her mother experienced a health scare. Now, Adkins serves up dishes from smoked Cajun “mock seafood” mac and cheese to jerk jackfruit tacos.

Because 4th of July is all about saucy barbeque, Adkins shares one of her favorite vegan recipes below.

BBQ Chickpeas

“I absolutely love the 4th of July,” said Adkins. “It’s also my birthday, and somewhere in my mind I believe the entire world is singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me! In honor of my special day, I decided to share one of my absolute favorites. It’s so versatile and easy that everyone is going to throw it on everything. Don’t you love when a quick meal becomes one of your favorites? Let’s tap into the oh so flavorful and protein-packed chickpea.”


  • 16 oz. drained chickpeas
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (Adkins recommends homemade but notes you can use whatever you have.)
  • ½ diced onion
  • 1 diced colorful pepper
  • 2 shakes garlic powder
  • 2 dabs ground allspice


Add seasonings, pepper and onion to a pan with four ounces of water. Once the veggies start to get soft, add your drained chickpeas and BBQ sauce to the mix. Simmer for five to seven minutes.

Use BBQ chickpeas to top anything, such as the spinach salad pictured above.

Support Black-Owned Businesses at the 2nd Street Market

Below are the Black-owned businesses located at the 2nd Street Market, which is open Fridays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Note: Weekend-only vendors will be present on select weekends.

Weekend-Only Vendors:

The 2nd Street Market is a facility of Five Rivers MetroParks and supports its mission to protect the region’s natural heritage by providing the community access to fresh, local food, which is often healthier and less taxing on the environment. Additionally, the Market offers EBT/SNAP and Produce Perks for qualifying individuals thanks to a partnership with local nonprofit organization Homefull.

For more information about the 2nd Street Market, visit metroparks.org/localfood.

For more about the outdoors, head to metroparks.org and visit Five Rivers MetroParks’ blog at metroparks.org/natureisopen. To plan a visit, navigate trails, find amenities and more, download MetroParks’ free app, powered by OuterSpatial, for Apple and Android devices by visiting metroparks.org/mobile. This Nature Is Open column contains content provided by your Five Rivers MetroParks. We invite your input and story suggestions by emailing multi.media@metroparks.org or calling 937-275-PARK (7275).

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