In the depths of the pandemic, following the murder of George Floyd that set off thousands of protests across the country, inspiration struck Carmen Dianne and Kara Still. The two were moved to do something different, something long term that would have a far reaching economic and social impact for the black community. Witnessing the widespread food insecurity that plagued 54 million people in the United States during the pandemic (and disproportionately affected people of color) Carmen and Kara decided to make food access their main priority, and thus Prosperity Market was born. 

Prosperity Market is a farmers market on wheels featuring black farmers, food producers, and chefs. The market travels around Los Angeles frequenting food deserts (to provide access to healthy food and nutrition education) as well as more affluent neighborhoods (to provide exposure for and the opportunity to support black owned businesses). In doing so, Prosperity Market is able to address two major issues that plague the black community, to kill two birds with one stone, if you will. 

I sat down with the lovely co-founders, Carmen and Kara, to get the full scoop on their incredible project. 

Building Prosperity Market

In order to build Prosperity Market, Carmen and Kara first had to select their vendors. The two began by extensively researching those already focusing on food accessibility, sustainable growing practices and nutrition education. Those who were actually on the ground, in the field. DOING. THE. WORK. The two connected with countless farmers and chefs approaching each conversation with a tremendous sense of gratitude and respect. Ultimately, they found themselves deeper and deeper in a network full of people eager and willing to engage with the idea of Prosperity Market and build it alongside them, not only because of the idea itself but because of the humble, collaborative way in which they were approached to do so as well. Today they now have twenty rotating vendors that make up the beloved Prosperity Market family. 

The Prosperity Market Experience

Upon visiting Prosperity Market, one can expect to find booming music, a photo booth, delicious prepared foods, interactive cooking demos, a plethora of fresh produce and most importantly, a sense of community. In curating Prosperity Market, Carmen and Kara deliberately selected vendors that would contribute to a pleasant — and educational — experience. The vendors at Prosperity Market are experts in their field and are eager to share that knowledge. As patrons peruse produce, the farmers describe their growing process and provide inspiration for ways in which shoppers can cook the foods they're purchasing. Every single vendor utilizes organic farming practices and all the food sold and prepared at the market is picked the night before. Yes, THE NIGHT BEFORE. Instead of simply selling you a cold pressed juice, the farmers at Prosperity Market will explain exactly what is in it and why it is good for you. Same goes for the prepared foods, chefs around the market provide cooking demos and classes for patrons to participate in and to get the creative culinary juices flowing. 

Each farmer at Prosperity Market truly is SO personable and engaging that, according to Carmen, it is nearly impossible to walk away not having learned something new, to which she speaks from personal experience. Carmen LOVED zucchini but had now idea how to cook it, after spending time with Lu from Compton Community Garden, she learned the tips and tricks to make zoodles (zucchini noodles), which are now an absolute favorite. Temu (also from Compton Community Garden) has inspired countless shoppers, including Kara's friend to purchase her first collard green and even gave her a few recipes to go along with it. The vendors at Prosperity Market, like Lu and Temu, educate and entertain, making the grocery shopping experience unlike that of anywhere else in the city, let alone what has long been accessible to those living in food deserts.

Access to healthy food should be a right and not a privilege. The efforts Prosperity Market is taking to make this a reality, while simultaneously uplifting black business owners, is truly a cause worth embracing, which is exactly what I will be doing next weekend in Malibu at the next Prosperity Market! Fellow Trojans, I better see you there. 

Favorite Dish at Prosperity Market

Kara: very single thing from Chef Supreme of Concierge Kitchen. I also love Chef Brandy's Golden Milk and Dedication Catering's Compton Kale Salad.

Carmen: Chef Brandy’s pizza, she makes her own dough from scratch and brings her oven! Everyone who attends Prosperity Market NEEDS a slice. 

Carmen and Kara are currently fundraising to reach their of goal of $50,000, which is for the deposit to their custom trailer that will house Prosperity Market as it  travels throughout Los Angeles. To donate, please visit or use the Cash app: $prosperitymarket. To stay up to date on all things Prosperity Market, subscribe to their newsletter via their website & follow the Instagram