Welcome to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie's personal website

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Street Venders, Community, and Newcomers


Street vender of fresh sweet fruits, related links and recipes below 
As a graduate student at Syracuse University I wrote dissertation on the social history of the railroad and banana industry in Guatemala at the turn of the century. The project required several months of archival research at the national archives in Guatemala City the capital of the country. My first month in the city I rented a room in a hotel and settled into a routine of a 20 minute walk to the archive and purchasing fruit from a young female street vendor in her late teens on the way. Over time I got to know the street vendor whose name was Roxanne.  Overtime our daily interaction helped me feel apart of the community I had moved into as the newcomer from New York. She answered questions I had about the city helped get by barrings. Street venders, particularly the sincere and engaging ones who set up in the same place like Roxanne, become a part of a community. When they are gone members of the community notice and inquire about their whereabouts and well-being. I imagine the same goes for the customers that a vendor has had for a long time. Roxanne I recall sold some of the sweetest fruit I have ever had in my life!  In part I imagine it was sweet because she was a very sweet person. Many female entrepreneurs in history started off like Roxanne selling fruit, baked goods, and other food on the streets. Through producing a great tasting product, savvy marketing, hard work, great customer service, and relationships with the connected, some would expand their corner operations into restaurants, catering services, and or other food related businesses. Over the years I’ve come across many of these stories which I've documented in my books and this blog. 

Fresh Fruit Related Stories with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Fresh+Fruit

My Guatemala Stories with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Guatemala+

Street Venders Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Street+Venders

Food Concessions and Church Services in Rural Georgia

Bananas and New York City Street Venders