The annual Street Eats Market in Canada returned in full swing to satisfy the cravings of local foodies and help promote emerging businesses. One of their events that kicked off the summer season was the first Pinoy Night Market in Toronto.
The event, which was held in collaboration with Pinay Tayo Toronto, drew more than 10,000 people on its first night, catching the organizers by surprise.
"We wanted to create a cultural event to showcase Filipino culture and because we’re Street Eats, we really want to showcase the food and the desserts, all in a block party environment. Because it’s one of the first few festivals to kick off the summer season, we had no clue what the attendance would be," Street Eats Market founder Philip Suos said. "We’re beyond thrilled with the attendance numbers."
For her part, Pinay Tayo Toronto founder Mariel Buenaventura said, "I'm just so happy for the turnout... This is a crowd that’s not just Filipino but even non-Filipino."
The three-day event showcased live performances and several Filipino vendors selling food, drinks and merchandise, enough to keep the attendees entertained until midnight and feel more connected to Filipino culture.
Over the pandemic, Street Eats Market thrived with their outdoor food festival and market. Since many food trucks have closed, they pivoted to popups, and are now helping businesses to come out and showcase in the most affordable way.
"Our mission at Street Eats Market is to really break the norms," Suos noted. "Instead of paying thousands of dollars in vendor fees, we’re only charging $250 for the entire weekend. So really that assists a lot of the upstarts, the home cooks, that really don’t know or can’t afford those fees. We’re an incubator, we will teach you how to do social media, how to market, start your business, and grow it and that’s what we’re all about."
Located across Scarborough Town Center, Street Eats Market will showcase other international food festivals this year and will switch to the Holiday Market in December including another Filipino event.