BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two local Black-owned businesses are the latest new vendors at Lexington Market, the market announced Tuesday.

Blacksmiths is a southern-influenced breakfast and brunch popup owned by Baltimore-bred chef Heather Smith, and Platinum Amala is a family-owned West-African eatery based in West Baltimore.

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The Blacksmiths stall will serve up everything from breakfast sandwiches and omelets to brunch spreads complete with french toast and meat with slow-cooked vegetables.

“I’m from Baltimore, raised here, and remember going to the market with my mom and dad for lunch after shopping in the city,” said Chef Heather Smith, owner of Blacksmiths. “Our stall will have a 10-seat bar and lots of seating around, and we’ll have options for both quick weekday breakfast needs and lazy weekend brunches.”

Smith started Blacksmiths eight years ago, doing pop-ups across the city at locations like R. House and Dovecote Cafe.

The Platinum Amala stall is in addition to a location on Edmondson Avenue and a food truck in Randallstown. Owned by mother and son duo Khadijat Abiola and Basith Salami, the stall will serve up West African dishes like jollof rice, fufu, suyas, and stews.

“I started making the food of my childhood [in Nigeria] for people out of my home; pretty soon, they were asking when I was going to have a restaurant so they could bring their friends to try it,” said co-owner Khadijat Abiola. “We’re excited to serve a broader audience at Lexington Market and introduce more people to West African food.

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The announcement of Blacksmiths and Platinum Amala brings the total number of announced vendors up to 28, with up to 25 more vendors still to come. Announced vendors include Italian market Trinacria, local ice cream Taharka Brothers and mexican fare Charro Negro.

Lexington Market has received hundreds of vendor applications for space in the new building. The market is looking for applications of all kinds but particularly from butchery, fresh produce, Indian food, sushi, BBQ, burgers, and candy or snack food.

Known as the longest continuously operating public market in the United States, the 240-year-old institution is undergoing a $40 million redevelopment and renovation by Baltimore-based developer Seawall.

The transformation calls for a new 61,000-square-foot market building to be constructed on the existing south parking lot and the demolition of the arcade building.

Once the project is complete, an open space will become a pedestrian plaza on Lexington Street. The market has remained open during construction, which started in February 2020.

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CBS Baltimore Staff