Why start your own business? It's a question entrepreneurs receive daily. As small business owners, the Bronx Night Market team understands the curiosity—after all, it is a risk. But like any risk, it can also be extremely rewarding; personally, professionally, and financially.

Some of the most popular reasons to launch a small or micro business are to cultivate a new business idea, design a flexible career that has the ability to grow with you, gain financial independence, and our personal favorite, invest in yourself.

The Bronx Night Market is no stranger to entrepreneurship, all of the vendors we work with are locally-owned small businesses with various reasons for launching self-sufficient careers centered around their passions.

For Sherilyn Thomas, owner of Cozi Treats, the idea for her high-end desserts was born out of passion. She turned her baking hobby, with encouragement from friends and family, into a viable business working at festivals and catering private parties and individuals throughout the year. What makes her business special is the unique flavors she packs into delicate macaroons and her passion for what she does; this is obvious to any market-goer who stops by her tent for a sweet treat.

For others, it's about family history and personal fulfillment; Janae Bullock caterer and owner of Fried Lasagna Mama launched her grab and go fried lasagna business standing on the shoulders of her relatives. Bullock's grandmother owned a restaurant in Harlem in the 1960s, having seen the restaurant business firsthand wanted to continue her family legacy in the hospitality but on her own terms. After graduating from culinary school she curated a unique (truly one-of-a-kind) concept. While she mostly caters and vends at food events, her longterm goal is to own a food truck.

Roberto, his wife Barbara, and his mother co-founded Osicala Yuqueria NYC. Barbara and Roberto are first-generation immigrants from El Salvador, their food concept is all about tradition and flavor; it is their way of bringing Salvadoran food to a wider audience "beyond pupusas, which is the dish most people seem to know." Just as important in the culture’s cuisine is yuca con chicharron! Well now, they are bringing this staple of Salvadoran cuisine to the forefront and are one of the first in New York City to focus specifically on this type of food.

While all of the Bronx Night Market vendors have different backgrounds, there are a few common themes in their success as small business owners; passion, tenacity, and a clear concept/reason. And while those three points aren't alone enough to launch and maintain a self-employed career, they make up the solid foundation to build upon.

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