Aug. 24, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
A short video showcasing nearly a dozen food vendors operating at a busy public space in Corona was released last month.
The video captures a diverse group of business owners and food vendors plying their trade at Corona Plaza, located at 103rd St. and Roosevelt Ave. They are shown serving food and discussing some of their most popular dishes that originate from countries such as Mexico, Ecuador and China.
The video, called We Are Corona Plaza, was produced by the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), a non-profit that helps promote small businesses across the borough. The organization released the video last month as part of an effort to boost the local economy in Corona.
Corona was hit hard last year by COVID-19 and the documentary was put together to capture the area’s economic recovery.
“It’s a hustling, working-class community that was devastated by the virus… yet now it has come rushing back in a swarm of delicious aromas, culture, and energy,” narrator Andres Barbosa says in the five-minute video.
The short flick kicks off by showing an aerial view of Corona Plaza, which quickly transforms into a map highlighting 11 small businesses operating in and around the area. The map is used by Barbosa to guide the viewer around the plaza as uplifting music plays in the background.
The video makers first visit Tulcinango Mexican Bakery, a brick and mortar establishment located on the southwestern corner of the plaza at 103-02 Roosevelt Ave.
The owner of the bakery shows off his Conchas—traditional Mexican sweet bread rolls—which are his best-selling items.
The video then stops at two food vendors along the western portion of the plaza. A pair of women from Mexico are selling quesadillas from a stall while another vendor who is also from Mexico is selling tacos from a small food cart.
Next, the video moves to the northern section of the plaza taking in some other food vendors including a woman offering Ecuadorian dishes such as papita con cuero (potatoes with pork skin), a Bangladeshi man selling fruit and a Mexican woman describing tlayudas oaxaquenas, a pizza-like dish made with a tortilla wrap.
The tour concludes with an overview of three establishments located in buildings running along the southern end of the bustling plaza. The small businesses include a store serving Thai crepes, a Guatemalan restaurant and finally a restaurant offering Chinese and Spanish fare.
“[Corona Plaza] is “a marketplace filled with the taste of home from anywhere and everywhere,” Barbosa says.
Sam Massol, program manager at the QEDC, said Corona Plaza is a special area given the food vendors and he hopes the video prompts more people to visit the public space.
“They serve some of the best food in the city, and I hope people will support them.”
The video was directed by Devin T. Klos and produced by Jonathan Forgash.