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Night at the Cooper event highlights small businesses

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Members of the Upland community gather for the a Night at the Cooper event Saturday to enjoy live music, food and refreshments. / photo by Maddie Ybarra

Members of the Upland community gather for the a Night at the Cooper event Saturday to enjoy live music, food and refreshments. / photo by Maddie Ybarra

Sarah Van Buskirk
Staff Writer

The Upland community gathered to support local business vendors for the Night at the Cooper event, accompanied with live music and food, Saturday at the Cooper Regional History Museum.  

The event featured various tents, including a crystal jewelry booth and a fresh fruit stand, available for those in attendance.

Elaine Carrillo, a Cooper Museum employee, said a portion of the funds received from the evening market will go toward the museum.

“We are just trying to keep it alive, keep music going in a cool little venue,” Carrillo said.

She said the museum began these events in September 2020 and started off well, but the pandemic’s stay-at-home order really impacted them.

“We are barely getting back on our feet,” Carrillo said.

She encouraged the surrounding community to come out to their local events to support each other in hard times. Carrillo also mentioned in the future they want to have artists come in and display their work.

Juan Martinez, co-owner of Rhitrie Crystals, a small metaphysical business, attended the evening market Saturday.

Martinez and his business partner Sarah Smith are from north Orange County, and they set up their shop three times a week reaching markets across Southern California.

“These markets build the community by bringing new artists and businesses in,” Martinez said.

Martinez said most people forget that there are more small businesses in the U.S. than large businesses. He said small businesses are the backbone of the economy but they also have a more local feel to them.

Roslynn Cedeno, owner of Blue Sky Boutique, a gemstone jewelry business, also attended the market. 

Cedeno said she sometimes sets up at the morning farmers market in Upland but finds herself liking the evenings better.

“I think these markets are great, people need something to do. It’s outside, you can wear your mask, it is totally safe and it gets you out of the house,” Cedeno said. 

Charlize Smith, a visitor and Upland resident, said she was excited to have these markets back.

“We don’t have much here in Upland but we do have the amazing Cooper Museum that provides us with so much fun,” Smith said.

Smith said she used to look forward to bringing her friends and family to the markets and events held at the museum, but due to the pandemic it has made it hard to do so. 

“I think the reason I love it so much is because the community itself is one big family and I feel like I have the Cooper Museum and staff to thank for that,” Smith said.

The Cooper Museum hosts these events in Upland on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. To learn more, visit their Facebook page at Cooper Regional History Museum.

Blue Sky Boutique can be found on Instagram at @blueskyboutiqueonline.

Sarah Van Buskirk can be reached at sarah.vanbuskirk@laverne.edu.

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