Around the World in 180 Plates
From focaccia bread from Italy to coffee beans from over 20 countries, The Dekalb International Farmers Market has it all. The market that launched in 1977 as a small produce stand in Decatur, now has over 140,000 square feet. The market represents over 180 countries around the world. “It's like taking a bite from the globe, you can find any foods from any place in the world,” said Sophomore Adjoa Baah, whose parents go to the market weekly to get bread and other foods shipped from The Congo. “Staying rooted to our culture is very important, and this market helps us do just that: by providing foods from our countries,” said market staff member Pierre Kombactu, who moved to the united states from Tanzania. The Dekalb International Market Provides name tags to their employees that include their native country, name, and language. “I just love listening to all the different languages, I can be hearing Spanish one minute and the next, Swahili, I may not understand, but it's still pretty cool,” said Senior Maja Jovanovic. The market also works as an in-store storage. When they get the shipments, they have them freshly stored, so that if they run out of anything they can go into the storage building and grab what they need. “ this is a new thing about our market that was just added two years ago. We realized that as an international market we must provide our customers with only fresh food” said head of Accounting and Shipment Proceeds, Brad Dickson. There are many ways to get involved with the market. From donations to volunteering opportunities. When you volunteer you get to just help around and learn about different cultures, I took Spanish in high school so this volunteering opportunity is a way for me to put that to use” said former Decatur High School student, Samuel Lin who now works as a production manager at the market. So if you ever feel like submerging yourself into another culture, or tasting a new dish. The Dekalb International Farmers Market has 184 countries waiting for you to discover.
Photos by: Luis Vijil
A Taste of The World: When you enter the Dekalb International Farmers Market, savory spices like Chili Powder and Common Sage from Mexico and cinnamons and pepper powders from countries including Haiti, Morocco, India, Nigeria, and China can be found in the spices section.
Sisters at Heart: Allie Pratiwi and her friend Eve Negasi started volunteering at the international market together and now work there. This job allowed them to get even closer to each other, and their culture. “Working here has allowed me to connect closer to my culture and other peoples culture like my friends, Eve, whos from Ethiopia,” said Pratiwi who moved to America from Tanzania at the age of eight.
Around the World in 180 Plates: Right as you walk in the market you are greeted with 184 beautifully draping flags that represent the foods and other products found in the market. “From countries as small as Nauru to countries as large as India, you can find anything here,” said cashier worker Joseph Simmons.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: There are many options at the bakery in the international market including everything from Franzbroetchen from Germany to Baklava from Turkey. “ We get all kinds of people here asking for all of our pastries. We have them all including Cannoli, Flan, Croquembouche and many more ” said vendor Hawa Nassin.
The World's Market: The Dekalb International Farmers Market first opened their doors on June 2nd, 1977, as a produce stand in Decatur, GA. It has since grown to a 140,000 square foot warehouse. Housing foods, spices, breads, vegetables etc from over 180 countries around the world.