MONTEBELLO, Calif. (KABC) -- When you drive through the heart of downtown Montebello, on the corner of Whittier Boulevard and Sixth Street, you'll see a plot of land filled with shipping containers. It is a new community food hall housing several businesses called Blvd Market, which opened in late summer.
"It's our baby [for] my wife and I, who are just a mom and pop business owners. We live in the community and saw there was a need for this in the community," said Barney Santos, owner of Blvd Market.
Santos, a Montebello resident, said it's an idea that started six years after he and his wife were inspired by a repurposed container park in Las Vegas.
"This is so unique and cool," said Santos. "What about if we did that in a Latino community that's never seen something like that before. Fast forward several years and building this... that's kind of where it came from."
Santos said they encountered some pushback early on from other entrepreneurs who told him he should open the market in a more affluent area.
"But to me the resistance was more so in people believing that this was even a need in this community," said Santos. "So many cities like this are overlooked by traditional investors."
But with support from the community and city, according to Santos, the food hall has been a hit. And he predicts by the end of the year it will be filled with vendors.
"After going through all of that and finally be here and see the community come out eat and laugh, it fills me up," said Santos. "Latinos work really hard. We are hard workers. We deserve nice things."