City announces $100,000 grant for Vendors Association of FDR Park

Photo courtesy of Parks & Recreation

The city Departments of Commerce and Parks and Recreation as well as the Fairmount Park Conservancy recently awarded a $100,000 small business development grant to the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia to help assist the Vendors Association of FDR Park. 

The money will go toward the continued development of the vendors association and also help establish a permanent home for a Southeast Asian cultural marketplace in FDR Park. Additionally, thanks to the grant funds, three members of the vendors association are serving as official vendors at the food bazaar of this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show.  

“Investing in the growth of Philadelphia’s small, immigrant businesses is what equitable development is all about,” Commerce Director Anne Nadol said in a press release. “The Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Southeast Asian community have been driving economic growth and building Philly’s reputation as the big city with the richest and most diverse food scene in the country.”

The vendors that will be featured at the flower show are The Stir Fry Lady, run by chef Kem Lum, Bee’z Kitchen, run by chef Chanthea “Bee” Nhep, and Saijai Thai, run by chef Saijai Sabayjit. They will be serving a diverse array of Southeast Asian cuisine.

“The vendors at FDR Park are some of the most talented, creative chefs in our city,” said Sarun Chan, the executive director of the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia. “This partnership is an exciting opportunity to help these vendors grow their businesses, and further share the rich cultural experiences and flavors that Cambodian Americans bring to Philadelphia’s public spaces and food scene.”

Parks and Recreation and the commerce department first teamed up to support pathways for small, Black- and Brown-owned businesses to vend at large-scale events back in 2020. Since then, they have helped over 90 such vendors land spots at high-traffic events such as the Christmas Village in LOVE Park and this year’s flower show.