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'Little' Mercado in Nogales gives locals space to sell handmade goods

The Nogales 'Little' Mercado is set up to help locals make money by offering them a spot to sell handmade goods and food.
Nogales "Little" Mercado
Posted at 10:25 AM, Mar 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-25 13:25:22-04

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN) — Over 10 years ago, the Nogales Community District developed land next to the U.S.-Mexico border on Morley Avenue. The creation of this market was to help locals out financially, giving them a space to set up shop and sells goods.

Small businesses and vendors meet up every Friday to sell.

You can purchase fresh produce, jewelry, bows, jams and jellies, desserts and much more.

Malena Mandel began selling at the market when it opened, telling me she needed to make ends meet because her son was sick.

Mandel didn’t expect to build such a great relationship with the community by just showing up with her goods.

“It’s great because you get to be close to them and this is a place where we see each other every Friday," Mandel said. "Sometimes we have our own lives outside the market, but we’re always here.”

Mandel doesn’t sell her products online. If you want to get your hands on her “Handmade with Love" soaps, you can find her at the Little Mercado.

By not having an online store, she attracts more people to the market to see what other vendors have for sale.

Jacqueline Aguilar is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born and raised in Yuma, AZ., she is no stranger to the unforgiving Arizona heat. Now this U of A wildcat is excited to be back in Tucson and is looking forward to involving herself in the community. Share your story ideas with Jacqueline by emailing or connecting on Facebook, Instagram or X.