By JEFF CLEMETSON | La Mesa Courier
Good things are starting to brew in the Lake Murray area of La Mesa.
On Dec. 7, Brew Coffee Spot, 6101 Lake Murray Blvd., hosted the “Brew Holiday Market” — a crafts market in the parking lot next to the coffee shop that attracted vendors and local residents despite a rainfall that persisted throughout the event.
“It was pouring and it was so busy. It was awesome,” said Tara Van Sickle, who was both a vendor and an organizer of the event. “Customers would walk by and you could see they were happy about the vibe.”
The market did so well, that Brew Coffee Spot owner Joe Paraiso and Van Sickle have decided to make it a monthly event called the Brew Community Market. The new market, which will be held on the first Saturday of the month with the exception of January and July, when the market will be held on the second Saturday, is an opportunity to fill a need for community events.
“The whole idea is, this part of La Mesa and San Carlos and Lake Murray area, there’s really nothing going on and there are so many people here and there are people in the community that just wish something would start happening over here. So that’s where we come in,” Paraiso said.
Although the monthly markets will mark the first regular events in Brew Coffee Spot’s parking lot, they are not the first.
In the recent past, the lot has hosted two car shows — a classic car and bike show and a Volkswagen enthusiast show.
“We had a pretty big turnout for both of them,” Paraiso said, and credited the ample parking and the proximity to his shop and others in the shopping center for the success of the events.
“People come out here, they walk around, check stuff out, buy stuff and then come in for a cup of coffee. But we’re really going to help everybody in the shopping center. It’s not just a selfish thing. We want to bring people to the shopping center.”
At the Dec. 7 market, despite the rain, the community showed overwhelming support for the 17 vendors that sold everything from handmade holiday decorations and gifts to jewelry, clothing, essential oils, candies and more.
“One woman crocheted actual little plaid ornaments — they were so cute. She actually sold out of everything she brought,” Van Sickle said, adding that a local school even raised money with a gift-wrapping station.
The next market will be held on Jan. 11, and Paraiso and Van Sickle expect it will do even better than the first as the word gets out and hopefully the weather improves. The space for the market can hold up to 20 or so vendors, so there is room for a few more, Van Sickle said, adding that the vendors in the first market were mostly locals and customers of the coffee shop.
For more information about upcoming events at Brew Coffee Spot, including the Brew Community Markets, visit brewcoffeespot.com.
— Reach editor Jeff Clemetson at firstname.lastname@example.org.