Bonde Mercado Retail Branding

Centering Black and Brown Makers in This New Retail Concept


  • Strategy
  • Brand Identity
  • Programming

The brainchild of partners Aaron Lewis and Shontel Horne, Bonde Mercado is a retail, events, and community concept that links local, regional, and global concepts inspired by the culture and traditions of Black and Brown people.

As a new business concept and idea, Bonde Mercado engaged Cohere to bring this startup brand to life as the founders embark on their commitment to building community and awareness around POC-owned brands - starting local to Philadelphia, with a global mindset.⁠ Our work consisted of creating the overall brand identity, positioning, and equipping the founders with starting assets to launch their first pop-up events and community-focused gatherings.

The Bonde Mercado mission is simple; to cultivate a vibrant + inclusive marketplace that connects black and brown makers, artists, and entrepreneurs with a diverse community of conscious consumers.⁠

Brand and naming inspiration for Bonde Mercado came from the founder's own travels. The word Bonde means Valley in Swahili, inspired by Aaron and Shontel’s visit to the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. They were captivated by the valley's expansiveness, as well as the cultural diversity (the Mediterranean, the Middle East and East Africa) across the 4,000+ mile stretch from Lebanon to Mozambique.

They see a strong cultural parallels for opportunities to unite Black and Brown creators across the Delaware River Valley as well as the entire North East corridor - from DC to Boston - and want Bonde Mercado to be the tool through which those connections are made.

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