Food, Community, Family
For more than 200 years, local markets have been a gathering place in urban neighborhoods. For immigrants and refugees, markets offer a place to socialize, catch up on local and national news and hear gossip from back home, speak in a native language, and purchase familiar foods.
Before the automobile and refrigeration were widely available, people shopped within blocks of home, stopping at the butcher shop, the bakery, and the variety food market. Technology and transportation have changed how people shop and socialize, but markets remain essential to many immigrant communities.
The stories of markets established by immigrants and refugees embody timeless values of hard work, resourcefulness, resilience, and commitment to family and community.
More than a Market shares the stories of the following nine historic markets and six contemporary markets through the voices of their owners and customers. These businesses serve a culturally diverse clientele.
Chick’s Market, 60 Hickok St., Winooski; French Canadian, operated by Edmund “Chick” Dupont (1944–1982), Richard and Carole Corbiere (1982–2000), and Sonny and Pam Vezina (2000 to present)
Danis’s Cash Market, 37 Conger Ave., Burlington; French Canadian, operated by Arthur and Donat Danis (1926–1969)
Epstein & Melnick, 27 Main St., Winooski; Russian/Jewish, operated by Mayer Epstein and family (1910–1973) and Samuel Melnick (1910–1940)
George’s Market, 38 Pearl St., Burlington; Lebanese, operated by Georgie and Isabelle George (1935–1962)
Izzo’s Market, 77 Pearl St., Burlington; Italian, operated by Louis and Concetta Izzo and family (1922–1974)
J & M Groceries, 68 Archibald St., Burlington; African American, established by John and Mildred McLaurin and owned by Judy McLaurin (1975 to present)
Kieslich’s Market, 203 North Ave., Burlington; German, operated by John V. Kieslich and family (1911–1987)
Rome’s Groceries, 68 Archibald St., Burlington;Russian/Jewish, operated by Barnet and Lena Rome and family(1924–1975)
Roy’s Market, 126 Weaver St., Winooski; French Canadian,operated by Edward Roy and family (1923–1967)
Community Halal Store, 128 North St., Burlington; Somali, operated by Abdi nur Hassan and family
Euro Market, Bosnian, 1295 Williston Rd., South Burlington; Bosnian, operated by Dado Vujanovic
M. Square Vermont, 476 Main St., Winooski; Congolese, operated by Muyisa Mutume
Nada International Market, 325 Main St., Winooski; Iraqi, operated by Ahmed Aref
RGS Nepali Market, 1563 North Ave., Burlington; BhutaneseNepali, operated by Goma and Ratna Khadka
Thai Phat, 100 North St., Burlington; Vietnamese, operated by John and Huong Tran and son Anthony
The Markets of Burlington and Winooski, Vermont
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, neighborhood markets were everywhere in Burlington and Winooski, Vermont. French Canadian, Italian, Irish, Lebanese, Jewish, and German markets were concentrated in Burlington’s Old North End and Lakeside neighborhoods and near the mills in Winooski.
Since the 1980s, Vietnamese, Bosnian, Bhutanese Nepali, Iraqi, Congolese, Ghanaian, Somali, and other immigrants have continued this entrepreneurial tradition—some in the same neighborhoods, others in surrounding towns. They offer staples, spices, seafood, halal products, tropical fruits and vegetables, and grains important to the many cultures in the area. They are also a magnet for the growing number of people who enjoy cooking global cuisine.