Tormo’s booth also draws traffic for “miracle fruit,” a berry that temporarily alters taste perception from sour to sweet. Beyond the novelty, he says, some people believe it may benefit diabetics and chemo-therapy patients.  

Argentine vendors Marcelo Boix and his wife, Andrea, design Baganus, an eco-friendly clothing collection of 100 percent organic cotton and chemical-free dyes for adults, children and infants. They were attracted by the green factor of the market as well as its aesthetics. “We were impressed by the contrast of this midcentury steel factory and the rustic farm vibe with country colors and imagery. It’s so different here,” says Marcelo.

Eyal agrees that it doesn’t feel like you’re in South Florida. The covered, open-air design sans air conditioning gets locals out of enclosed spaces rain or shine. Hay, blown-up prints of pastoral scenes, and faux, life-size barnyard animals complete with background sounds of moos and clucks are certainly a world away from South Beach. “We even hung laundry from the ceiling for that extra effect,” he says.

The process of creating such a large-scale venture was not without its obstacles, but given Abraham’s tenacity and vision, the project gained the immense respect of residents and was a hit right out of the gate. The Sunday morning grand opening event generated a major turnout. “My father saw this unique opportunity to do something of real value for the community,” Eyal says. 

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