Old Town Marketplace Gets New Lease on Life

Old Town Marketplace (Photo by Jennifer McCarthy/ Longmont Observer)

Inside the Old Town Marketplace at 332 Main Street, an upright piano sits in a corner near food and beverage booths – all invitations to stay awhile. Colorful business banners hang from the interior two-story courtyard, and the scent of fresh empanadas drift through the space.

A succession of small business spaces line the two stories of the Old Town Marketplace, filled with artist studios, gift shops, and food stands. Teenagers order cold boba drinks from Maldo’s Coffee and Boba counter. Art hangs from the brightly lit studio spaces and in the interior courtyard. Food and culture mingle in the storied 300 block of downtown.

For several years, the building was home to thrift stores and various businesses. Slowly, it has evolved into a social spot for the Latinx community and regional artists, including Tomas A. Perez, Old Town Marketplace manager. His studio space, named The ART Spot, is also housed within the marketplace.

Perez welcomes Longmont residents to revisit and support the business owners within. “We are ready,” Perez says, “and we are evolving.”

Perez uses the word “incubator” as he describes the past and the future of the Old Town Market. Perez wants to nurture lasting relationships with new tenants who bring cultural interest to the city in the form of art and retaining a relationship with Hispanic customers.

Hermanos Zamora, a store that sells a variety of Hispanic-specific holiday and religious items, has been in Longmont for over twenty years at different locations. It has historically been a go-to spot for many generations of Hispanic families. Now, it has found a home alongside other businesses which cater to the Latinx community. Hermanos Zamora’s share space with an attorney and a specialty cake shop.

Additionally, the Latin Chamber of Boulder County will soon join the Old Town Marketplace family.

Here, the Hispanic history of Longmont sits cozily with the newer demand for gallery style art.

Currently, artists such as Sabrina Elhert, Joyanna Rose Gittings (Longmont’s Artist in Residence), Candance Shepard, Catherine Robles Shaw, and many more utilize the downtown location to showcase their art.

Perez doesn’t want the Old Town Marketplace to be compared to other galleries on Main Street. He emphasizes the affordable rent, and sees tents with long term goals as sources of pride. Tradition and growth coexist without pushing out the Mom and Pop atmosphere. Longmont residents are assured of both, within a unique place in city history.

General hours are from Monday-Saturday 10 am – 8 pm. Customers are advised some businesses may have varied hours.

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