This Curated Scavenger Hunt Supports Black-Owned Businesses in LA

Led by Prosperity Market, the month-long scavenger hunt celebrates Black Business Month with prizes, events, and educational opportunities.

Prosperity Market
Photo courtesy of Prosperity Market

The seed that became Prosperity Market, a virtual and mobile farmers market that supports LA’s Black farmers and food businesses, was first planted during the nationwide unrest that followed George Floyd’s murder in June 2020. Moved to make a difference, Kara Still and Carmen Dianne were brainstorming ways to create economic impact in Black communities and found one of the biggest discrepancies in our food industry. They came up with the idea to launch a virtual and mobile farmers market that would offer fresh produce and goods directly from Black farmers and vendors, while bringing high-quality produce to food deserts that lack access.

That idea took root in late February 2021, when Still and Dianne held their first in-person farmers market, a three-day affair that took place virtually and in person at Inglewood’s Faithful Central. With every event since then—including ongoing produce giveaways, a Juneteenth pop-up market, a holiday market, and a fundraiser to help purchase a mobile trailer—Prosperity Market has continued to flourish, sprouting symbolic stems, leaves, and eventually flowering through Still and Dianne’s deep commitment to uplift Black communities.

“Fundraising and crowdfunding is not for the weak-hearted at all,” Still says. “The process taught us a lot. It was daunting at times, grueling at times, but it was also so rewarding because every single time someone made a contribution, whether it was a dollar or a hundred dollars, or even more than that, it was so rewarding to see people showing up and contributing to our dream. It definitely was worth all of the work that we put in to see that happen.”

Prosperity Market
Photo courtesy of Prosperity Market

While Prosperity Market hosts virtual and in-person farmers markets monthly, their most anticipated event is the Black Scavenger Hunt that takes place across LA throughout the month of August and coincides with Black Business Month. The first edition was held in 2021, proving to be such a success that the pair are back at it again this year, with an even bigger list of Black businesses to support, including prizes for those who successfully solve clues, and culminating with an in-person finale at the Obama Sports Complex on Saturday, August 27.

Here’s how it works: Dianne and Still have compiled a list of clues that lead to over 50 local Black-owned businesses in LA, spanning restaurants, art galleries, museums, bookstores, vintage shops, and more. To participate, simply scan the in-store QR code at the participating business and take a photo. Make sure your point is counted by posting your photo on Instagram, tagging @prosperity.market and using the hashtag #PMbizhunt2022, or you can email your photos to admin@prosperitymarketla.com.

If you’re having trouble deciphering a clue, refer to the treasure map and online word bank. You can also earn extra points by taking a photo with Nipsey Hussle murals (which you’ll find at several of the participating businesses) or with the BLK NWS exhibit, a citywide installation by artist Kahlil Joseph that’s being broadcast at sites across the city. You can also get extra points by attending certain events, including a networking mixer intended to boost funding for Black businesses and a wine anniversary party at Inglewood’s 1010 Wine.

In case it wasn’t obvious, this is a scavenger hunt that Still and Dianne want participants to win, with the goal of not just stimulating LA’s Black businesses, but also helping Angelenos discover their city in new ways.

Prosperity Market
Photo courtesy of Prosperity Market

“We get so excited about the Scavenger Hunt because it's an opportunity for us to engage all kinds of businesses that we can't necessarily host at our market. We get to really expand the breadth of who we connect with and expose to our audience. It's an extension of our mission to create strong local ecosystems, build up our economy, and create community partnerships,” Still tells us.

The last day to submit clues is August 25, with winners announced at a finale event and expanded farmers market on Saturday, August 27 at Obama Sports Complex. Some of the prizes include gifts from participating businesses, LA Philharmonic concert tickets, and Prosperity Bucks—free money to spend with any Prosperity Market vendor.

So get out there and beat the dog days of summer with a feel-good activity that stands to introduce you to a new side of LA. Even if you don’t set out to join the scavenger hunt, don’t be shy about jumping in if you find yourself at a Black-owned business and see a QR Code. Happy hunting!

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Danielle Dorsey is the West Coast Editor for Thrillist.