Series

Protect Street Vendors at All Costs

Link in Bio with Jenny and Alejandro
Nico Armenta from Tianguis Market Foundation explains how his experience selling hot dogs inspired him to help street vendors across Los Angeles.
Show transcript
00:00
Street vendors across the city are constantly harassed and made to feel
00:03
unwelcome but are such an important part of the city and our
00:07
culture. Today, we have Nico Armenta from Tian's Market to
00:12
chat about his foundation for vendors in L A.
00:15
Thank you for covering Nico.
00:18
So why did you decide to start Tangis?
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Yeah. So Tangis came about actually,
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right after the pandemic myself,
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I was a street vendor and when I saw the pandemic hit
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really broke my heart completely.
00:32
I mean, for me back in the days,
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it was just hustle grind,
00:36
serve my famous hot dogs and get home.
00:40
So you were a street vendor yourself.
00:42
I was, yeah,
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I was, I did that for for many years.
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I'm an entrepreneur and the pandemic hit.
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And I saw so much like closure and you know,
00:53
devastation with our community that I was like,
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man, I mean,
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I have the knowledge for this.
01:00
I can really put it together all through my life.
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My father would talk to me about the Tangis where he
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was, you know,
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where he grew up and how he provided for his family
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and how my grandparents farmed and they would take their vegetation,
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fruits and herbs to the local tangis.
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It clicked. I was like dad,
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what did you say about the agu let's sit down and let's
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try to really see how we can embrace this forward.
01:30
And by the way,
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I was born in Mexico and yeah,
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la capital Federal. So shout out to all my people in
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Mexico City. You know,
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I would visit Mexico like when I was 1315,
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18. So I would always go to the Tangis because it's
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responsible for 86% of local cells in one day.
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So the people need the Tangis.
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It's almost better to be at the Tiani the outdoor market than
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to be in your storefront just waiting for a customer.
02:02
Exactly. And I feel like it's more like there's so much
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culture to it and everything.
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So did you see what happened at the rolling loud?
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Like the fights and the like the police chasing the street vendors
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and the street vendors,
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their stuff just being kind of taken and,
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and you know, the street vendors being harassed.
02:19
Like, does that happen a lot?
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Yes, it does.
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Unfortunately. it's a,
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it's, it's tragic.
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It's so unfortunate that this is happening to such hard working people
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They're just there to literally provide for their families.
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It's not a crime,
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right? Senate Bill 946 says that it's not a crime to
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vent anymore, right?
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And I think it's about time that we help our street vendors
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they need the proper attention,
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education and so forth and permitting.
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I mean, we did a survey in San Francisco and guess
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what, 89% of street vendors said sign me up,
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I will definitely get my permit,
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but they're not making it easy for us.
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There's a language barrier and let's be real,
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right? A lot of our culture,
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people, we got to trace this back,
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it all links back,
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right? So unesco protected the Mexican cuisine and they saw it
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as a fundamental cultural,
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right? So essentially our people are only doing what they know
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which is harvest and cultivate our our indigenous food.
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It's a shame that a lot of council members,
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city officials, even other organizations,
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I feel like we need to step up harder,
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we need to help our people and you know,
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all of street vendors and and let's be real.
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I I think it would benefit like cities if you help them
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put it easier for them,
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it would benefit you guys.
03:54
Do you think it's getting better like or is it getting worse
03:59
I feel like we're such in a great area.
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I feel there is a lot of things good that are happening
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Like for example,
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the city of Long Beach,
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you know, they said that they were that they're starting
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to give out permits.
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But then we see other cities unfortunately like Anaheim and Santa Ana
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that are not, they're still being closed,
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they're not doing anything about it.
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Even when, you know,
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like, for example,
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my organization brought a wonderful program to the table.
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It was ignored, right?
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So, and is that why you guys are moving away from
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San Ana? That's one of the reasons,
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you know, I,
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I feel like it's a very unfortunate what that we
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had to close our doors in Santa Ana,
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by the way, we gave out more than 2000 sellers permits
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All free organization helped out.
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That means that 2000 people have their seller's permit.
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So, you know,
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very important guys, be very,
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very cautious that when you vent somewhere,
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you have to pull a business city license in that city
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And this is why we need to all just link
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in, come together because like I said,
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guys, it benefits your city.
05:15
Yeah, I'd rather go to street vendors for my things than
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just big, huge corporations and stores.
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I'd rather do that,
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you know, what's fresh food on the spot?
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It's made with love,
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you know, and we appreciate you guys doing it for so
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many years and we're excited to see where you guys are next
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Hopefully somewhere in L A too because I would love to
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go and sell my personal pet supplies there.
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So, thank you so much.
05:42
Absolutely. Yeah. And I just wanna let you guys know
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that. Yeah, we closed one shop,
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but we're actually, right now as we speak in a contract
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discussion of three locations.
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So we close 13,
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open up now. No,
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wait, when one door closes,
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you go out the window or I don't know how to say
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another door opens, but we're so excited for you Nico to
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see where you guys end up.
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Thank you so much for joining us and where can people follow
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you? Absolutely. And thank you for having me.
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Please follow us at Tangis underscore market.
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So follow us.
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All right guys, if you're a vendor,
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apply, locations are about to spring up guys for the summer
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too. Oh, my God.
06:26
Absolutely. Thank you,
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Nicole.