Organizing for the development of the Portland Mercado began in March 2011 when Latino entrepreneurs and community members conducted a community visioning workshop with Portland State University graduate students. Four students, Abigail Cermak, David Ruelas, Bridger Wineman, and Ellen Wyoming partnered with Hacienda Community Development Corporation to analyze the feasibility of a Portland area Latino public market. The collaboration with the community produced a detailed study and a blueprint for development of a successful Mercado. See the report here.
The project has since won national recognition and has received the American Institute of Certified Planners Student Project Award. The Portland Mercado team is currently negotiating with the Portland Development Commission for site control of a parcel at 72nd and S.E. Foster, the former location of Metro Auto Wholesale. Meanwhile, the Mercado team is taking the legal steps to organize a cooperative, encouraging participants to open savings accounts to build capital for purchasing shares and assisting in developing business plans for the entrepreneurs who will run the business at the Portland Mercado.