Market at Martin Showcasing Small Business Diversity in Des Moines


DES MOINES, Iowa — A new outdoor market hopes to put unity back in the Des Moines community.

“Right now it is very important and with the Black Lives Matter movement it is very important. Just to get local businesses and vendors out there because of the pandemic out here,” said Frankie McMillian, who helped create the new Market at Martin.

The market began earlier this month and showcases local business owners and entrepreneurs in the metro community with an emphasis on minority-led businesses. The market is easy to find and is located in the parking lot at 300 West MLK Parkway where the massive mural of Martin Luther King Jr. has been created by artist Michael Bowser.

The idea to create the market came when McMillian was one of the many volunteers who helped paint the mural over the summer. Now, attendees and vendors are seeing the impact the mural and market can have in the city by celebrating the diversity in Des Moines.

“It’s not about Black, it’s about all the cultures coming together as a community. It’s not a color thing, it is a community thing,” said vendor Shala Varward.

Market at Martin is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. through 3 p.m. until Oct 31, weather permitting. Vendors wishing to join should email organizers at


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