PHILADELPHIA –The City of Philadelphia Commerce Department today joined Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy to announce the award of a $100,000 small business development grant to the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia. The grant will be used to continue the development of the Vendors Association at FDR Park and create a permanent, licensed home for a Southeast Asian food and cultural marketplace in FDR Park.
“Investing in the growth of Philadelphia’s small, immigrant businesses is what equitable development is all about,” said Anne Nadol, Commerce Director. “The Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Southeast Asian community have been driving economic growth and building Philly’s reputation as the big city with the richest and most diverse food scene in the country.”
Supported by the grant funds, three members of the FDR Park Vendors Association will be official vendors of the 2022 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, selling a variety of traditional Southeast Asian dishes. In partnership with Sang Kee Noodle House and the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, the following FDR Park food vendors will be featured in the Food Bazaar at the Flower Show June 11 – 19:
The Stir Fry Lady, chef Kem Lum
Bee’z Kitchen, chef Chanthea “Bee” Nhep
Saijai Thai, chef Saijai Sabayjit
“The Southeast Asian market at FDR Park boasts one of the most dynamic and exciting food scenes in Philly today,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. “We are thrilled to support three local vendors who will be serving up the tastes of Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos to Flower Show visitors.”
The Commerce Department grant made it possible for these three vendors to participate in the Philadelphia Flower Show, a large-scale and highly trafficked event with higher than average costs for affiliated vendors. In addition, the grant will support the Vendors Association of FDR Park’s work to create a permanent, licensed market at FDR Park. The Vendors Association represents the long-time vendors and cultural traditions of the city’s Southeast Asian immigrant communities.
“The vendors at FDR Park are some of the most talented, creative chefs in our City,” said Sarun Chan, Executive Director of the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia. “This partnership is an exciting opportunity to help these vendors grow their businesses, and further share the rich cultural experiences and flavors that Cambodian Americans bring to Philadelphia’s public spaces and food scene.”
“FDR Park is one of the most diverse public spaces in our city,” said Fairmount Park Conservancy Executive Director Maura McCarthy. “The Southeast Asian market vendor community is an important part of this park, and our work to transform these 250 acres into an active, welcoming, and sustainable park for South Philadelphians today and into the future.”
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Commerce Department first partnered to support new pathways for small, local Black and Brown owned businesses to vend at large-scale events on parkland in 2020. The partnership has helped over 90 Philadelphia-based Black and Brown vendors secure commercial opportunities at high-traffic events on parkland, like Christmas Village in LOVE Park and the 2022 Philadelphia Flower Show.
“The Southeast Asian Vendor’s Market reflects the ingenuity and resilience of Philadelphia’s immigrant communities. Today’s investment reflects what we have long known – that small businesses are the lifeblood of this city and key to our continued recovery,” said Councilmember Helen Gym (At-Large). “These enterprises are precisely what our Commerce Department should be focusing on: supporting pathways for creative entrepreneurs and vendors to succeed and grow. This market is a culinary landmark and perfectly captures everything that makes Philadelphia great: rich culture, compassionate people, and great food.”
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of its people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
About the Philadelphia Department of Commerce:The mission of the Department of Commerce is to ensure that Philadelphia is a globally competitive city to which employers flock, entrepreneurs thrive and innovation abounds; to recruit and retain a diverse set of businesses; to foster economic opportunities for all Philadelphians in all neighborhoods; and to partner with workforce development programs and local businesses on talent development ensuring that all Philadelphians can find and retain living-wage jobs.
For more information about the Department of Commerce, visit phila.gov/commerce.