Scavenging with a Purpose: Prosperity Market gives a fun way to promote Black-owned businesses

It’s summer, and nothing brings back childhood nostalgia like a good scavenger hunt. Combined with the retail therapy of adulthood, Prosperity Market’s Black Business Scavenger Hunt gives Angelenos an interactive way to explore the city by visiting Black-owned businesses. And if participants are enthusiastic enough, there may even be a prize.

The scavenger hunt will take place between Tuesday, Aug. 1, and Friday, Aug. 25, in time with Black Business Month. Participants can visit participating locations and check in by texting the unique keyword posted at that location. For each business checked into, Prosperity Market awards one point, plus another five points if something is purchased.

Participating businesses run the gamut, including restaurants, salons, gyms, retail and bookstores. The scavenger hunt includes locations all over the greater Los Angeles area, but participants can narrow their choices based on location or theme. For Downtown LA, some participating highlights include Poppy & Rose, Lovelei Duo and Gritz and Wafflez.

“This year, we have a new interactive map of all the participating businesses so people can search by neighborhood or category and map out the perfect itinerary,” said Kara Still, cofounder of Prosperity Market. “There are Black-owned businesses in every corner of Los Angeles, and we hope people will discover new places in their backyard and beyond.”

This is the third year Prosperity Market has held their Black Business Scavenger Hunt. Started amid the pandemic, Prosperity Market is a Black-owned farmers market cofounded by Still and Carmen Dianne. Dianne said she couldn’t remember where the idea came from for the scavenger hunt but said she and Still wanted to include it in their business model from the outset.

Prosperity Market’s mission is to help fight food insecurity in a time when the only businesses open were grocery stores. Today, they do this by providing a space for Black produce sellers and small market vendors at their weekly farmers market.

“We wanted to encourage the growth of essential Black-owned businesses,” Dianne said. “We saw the gap during the pandemic, with 41% of Black-owned businesses being forced to close. … When nothing was open but the grocery stores, we realized we don’t have any Black-owned grocery stores in our region.”

In the three years since Prosperity Market began its Black Business Scavenger Hunt, it has grown enormously. Dianne said the first year, only about 30 businesses were participating; this year, there are more than 75. What excites Dianne is the chance the scavenger hunt has to promote businesses that are just opening.

“I think the scavenger hunt has a lot of impact, but it’s a layered impact,” Dianne said. “It’s just a fun thing to do — we are gamifying it — but we are creating awareness for Black-owned businesses. We have some participating businesses that are very well known, but some are really new.”

The feedback that Prosperity Market has received from the scavenger hunt has been overwhelmingly positive. In previous years, Dianne said businesses have reported increased sales and that customers come in specifically for the hunt. Some visitors, Dianne said, came in and discovered the scavenger hunt while shopping, excited to begin participating.

Every business has its reason for participating in the scavenger hunt, but many see the mission of what Prosperity Market is trying to accomplish as an attractive component. Amanda Gomez-Viup, the general manager of Poppy & Rose in Downtown Los Angeles, said the owners feel a sense of pride at being able to participate in a campaign featuring Black-owned businesses like theirs.

“I don’t think any business would ever be upset at more guests coming through their doors, but for us, it is about highlighting Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles — ones that have been there a long time. For instance, Poppy & Rose is coming up on 10 years,” Gomez-Viup said.

Even with accolades and popularity, Gomez-Viup said many people still don’t know that the American brunch spot exists, especially being located in the Flower District of Downtown. The scavenger hunt is a fun way to discover a new favorite restaurant.

Aside from the awareness the scavenger hunt brings, some businesses are just thrilled they can participate in something fun. Chef Cheyenne Lovelei from Lovelei Duo, an American Caribbean Vegan restaurant, said what attracted her to the scavenger hunt was how much she had enjoyed that activity as a kid.

“I think any event that fosters people to come together, the positive nature to do something fun and create a sense of fellowship is always impactful, so I appreciate that,” Lovelei said.

To culminate the Black Business Scavenger Hunt, Prosperity Market will hold a grand finale pop-up farmers market in partnership with Come Up LA on Aug. 27 at Hollywood Park. There will be live music, activities for kids, food vendors, fashion booths and other vendors.

Dianne said Prosperity Market has been interested in adding a digital component to the scavenger hunt for a while now. To kick that off, they will open their Virtual Market in the week leading up to the grand finale. There, customers can shop with vendors online and make purchases in advance. As a bonus, participants can also earn points by shopping at the Virtual Market.

Prosperity Market will announce winners and prizes during the grand finale — and the awards aren’t something to balk at, Dianne added. Though they are still confirming donations, Dianne gave a few teasers from the list, including tickets to John Legend and Snoop Dogg at the Hollywood Bowl.

To begin earning points, scavengers should text #BBSH23 to 323-417-0465. More information about participating businesses, the interactive map and a guide to earning points is available on Prosperity Market’s website,

Dianne said that in participating, she hopes people realize how simple and convenient it is to support Black-owned businesses in your area.

“The take-away from the scavenger hunt is that it’s really easy to support Black-owned businesses. We want to make it easy, convenient and fun. And the impact of this goes far beyond just Black-owned businesses because what it’s doing is stimulating our local economy all the way through.”

Black Business Scavenger Hunt

WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 1, through Friday, Aug. 25

WHERE: Various locations

COST: Free



Prosperity Market Grand Finale Pop-Up

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27

WHERE: 1209 District Drive, Inglewood

COST: Free


Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Get Insightful, Cutting-Edge, Black Content Daily - Join "The Neo Jim Crow" Newsletter!

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

This post was originally published on this site