Due to the ever-increasing demand for ethically-sourced products in St. Louis, Zee Bee Market will open its second bricks and mortar location at 7270 Manchester Road in Maplewood on Saturday, April 21. Founder Julio Zegarra-Ballon, a native of Peru, has been selling Fair Trade and artisan-made products since 2012. He began with a mobile retail operation and online store ( www.zeebeemarket.com ) before opening the first Zee Bee Market storefront on South Grand Blvd. in November 2014.
Zee Bee Market’s expansion is a testament that today’s consumers want to use Fair Trade as a force for positive change. Most products made in the developing world come from marginalized and impoverished workers. With few options, many U.S. consumers are forced to make purchases that continue the cycle of poverty overseas However, Fair Trade certification informs and empowers customers by assuring them that the items they’re purchasing have provided the artist or farmer a living wage and safe working conditions. Zee Bee Market is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation.
The Maplewood store Grand Opening is scheduled for April 21 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Customers will find a curated collection of unique, artisan-made jewelry, handbags, accessories, kids’ gifts, home décor, stationary, and more. Additionally, customers can purchase organic and fair trade coffee, chocolate, tea, and other consumables.
Zegarra-Ballon also looks forward to continuing its Giving Back Days campaigns that benefit nonprofit organizations whose work makes a difference in the Maplewood community and the Greater St. Louis area. The store is planning four Charity Days, from Tuesday, April 17 to Friday, April 20. Each day, a nonprofit organization will sell tickets for an exclusive Sneak Peek of the store and enjoy a Private Shopping Day. Ticket sales will benefit the nonprofit organization directly. All ticket holders will receive 10% off their entire purchase. Zee Bee Market is partnering with Giant Steps St. Louis, Artists First, Animal House, and Trailnet.