Brian Gi, Jonny Hwang, and Janet Lan had a question: Why isn’t there a night market like the popular type they knew from Taiwan for the largest concentration of Asians in the United States? They decided to take action. On Saturday night, 626 Night Market will open in Pasadena, with food from traditional favorites to fusion.
It's been a rapid development for the three friends. Hwang launched the 626 Night Market website last January, and one week later they started a Facebook business profile. Then one Friday morning in the beginning of February their views jumped to 5,000. Apparently the link to the site kept getting bumped up on forums, and by Friday night they had 13,000 views. By the end of February, they reached capacity with 81 vendors committing to participate.
The low-cost vendor booths will provide many home-based businesses an opportunity to join the market. With some of the vendors being first-time entrepreneurs 626 Night Market will point them in the right direction to market their new brand. "We want our vendors to succeed," Gi said, "and help them take their business to the next level.”
Half the vendors will be centered around pan-Asian standards such as beef noodle soup, satay skewers, and tea shops like Alhambra's Ozero by Cofftea. Some of the unique fusion items include Filipino inspired burritos, tacos, and fries, Cake Bar LA will be selling alcohol-infused baked goods, and Mad Mochi is a dessert-inspired game app.
The remaining half of the vendors will be selling merchandise – products ranging from men's and women's clothing and accessories to iPad cases and toys. Although Gi does not recommend bringing your pets to this event, they will have a vendor selling dog clothing and accessories.
While 626 Night Market is looking to foster the growth of their vendors, they have their own brand to promote as well. They hope to build a demand for the night market, so it can be a sustainable and recurring event.
626 Night Market | April 14 | 5-11:30 p.m. on North Oakland between Colorado and Union | free of charge, and rain or shine