“It’s kind of a special place…”
A conversation with the owners of Mary’s Market

Curated by Kate Murray

Four months before graduation from Seattle University in Spring 2020, curator Kate Murray moved home to Sierra Madre, California to live with her family during the initial COVID-19 stay-at-home order. About a half mile from her house is Mary’s Market, a neighborhood cafe that has been her family’s favorite local spot for the years they’ve lived in Sierra Madre. Kate has always admired the community atmosphere and appreciated hard work and dedication from the small staff.

This establishment is one of countless independently owned businesses experiencing significant strain during this year’s pandemic. Murray explains,

“Mary’s Market is a historic treasure of my neighborhood. It has been passed down from one owner to another for close to a century. This year the market has faced temporary closures due to both COVID and the fires this past summer that threatened the Sierra Madre Foothills. Mary’s Market shows an example of resilience, cheerfulness and community-building in hard times.”

In October 2020, Murray talked to Jenny and Heather, the owners of Mary’s Market. In this interview, the owners’ share their perspective on how the lockdowns have impacted their business and their community. The shift has forced them to find creative solutions to keep their business operating.

Murray has an affinity for the creativity and resiliency of small businesses and currently works for a small business, Greywater Corps in Mount Washington, Los Angeles. Murray hopes this video program highlights the complexity of running a small business and the importance of actively supporting local businesses in these challenging times:

“This conversation with Jenny and Heather is a great reminder of how important it is to actively support the small businesses we love if we want to keep them around for another hundred years.”


Mary’s Market on Social Media:



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Kate Murray