Calabar Market has been a staple at area farmers markets for years, but now it's going to become a true market with a permanent space at Revolutsia, the new shipping container development at Central and Volutsia.
As a hobby, Nne Nne Ibeawuchi Smalling started making soap, bath bombs and laundry butter, which is a natural replacement for laundry detergent. It grew into a business with her husband, Garnet Smalling.
They attend markets during nice weather and sell at a kiosk at McConnell Air Force Base in the winter, where they also sell African clothing and military baseball caps.
For customers outside of the base, though, Ibeawuchi Smalling says they found they "were running around town trying to meet them with products."
So they began to look for year-round space in addition to continuing to sell at markets.
"A strip center just didn't do anything for me," Ibeawuchi Smalling says.
Then she saw Revolutsia.
"I was like, why are they letting them store all those shipping containers?"
Then she did some research.
"I was really impressed," Ibeawuchi Smalling says. "It was unique."
The new market will have products, such as purses and bags, in addition to the core items of the business.
Calabar Market is named for a state in Ibeawuchi Smalling's native Nigeria. Her grandfather was a palm oil dealer in Calabar.
Krista Racine of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal for the Revolutsia space.
Look for the market to open by early October.