There’s no place in the Catskills quite like Harana Market. Queer-owned, and located on the first floor of an 100-year-old general store just outside of Woodstock, the shop sells intentionally-sourced Asian groceries and prepared Filipino comfort food best enjoyed on a plastic stool or hammock on their lawn.
Married couple Eva Tringali and Christina Mauricio opened Harana Market in January 2021. Eva operates the front of the store and Christina cooks a rotating menu of Filipino staples based on their lola’s recipes.
Eva and Christina first met in the Bay Area, where they started throwing lumpia rolling parties. Between Eva’s background in events and Christina’s experience in both the music business and in culinary school, throwing their own immersive Filipino-American food events (and getting married, for that matter) just made sense. At their original harana parties, people would come and roll joints, roll lumpia, and put down their phones for a couple of hours.
Then, six months before Covid hit, Eva and Christina relocated to Brooklyn and then to Bearsville soon after. Harana Market’s space - less than a ten-minute drive from the center of Woodstock - became their lab, so to speak. A place where they could create.
Starting the business came at a “no time like now” moment, Eva says. “We’re bringing essential items to a huge demographic of people in an area where they’re not present.”
Woodstock has a long history of progressive politics, representing somewhat of an anomaly in the region at large (three out of the four Catskill counties went red in the 2020 election). Even still, a vast majority of local businesses are owned by white people, and few prioritize products made by Asian-led companies.
Eva and Christina run their business with a focus on regulars. The Tagalog word “suki” roughly translates to the relationship between regular customers and owners. “We are their suki and they are our suki,” says Eva. Walk into Harana Market on a random Friday afternoon and you can sense the familial energy in real time. You might see someone wearing muddy work boots place a lunch order for lechon kawali with the confidence only reserved for repeated visitors, or a person buying difficult-to-find, gluten-free rice panko who knows Eva and Christina by name.
It’s not unusual, Eva remarks, that customers return several times in a single weekend or even several times in one day. You will be convinced of this fact when, even before you enter Harana Market, your body is greeted by a deep wave of garlic.
Eating at Harana mimics showing up for family dinner - you don’t always know what you’re coming home to. It might be a vegan tofu sisig with enough creamy citrus-sesame sauce to fool anyone into thinking there was a cow involved, or it might be whatever Christina feels like cooking that day.
Generally speaking, Harana Market serves a meat option and vegetable dish, along with garlic rice and lumpia shanghai on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Friday and Saturdays typically include silog platters with garlic fried rice, refreshing cucumber and tomato salad, a fried egg, and your choice of marinated pork tocino or dry-rub sirloin called tapa, all accompanied by a spicy vinegar sauce that tempers the pure allium power of the garlic fried rice. On Sundays, Christina makes halo halo specials, and dishes based on the weather (they’re hoping to one day serve Filipino ceviche called kilowan and barbecued skewers). In short, you just need to trust them.
If you don’t make it on a halo halo Sunday, grab a pint of decadent ube-Heath bar ice cream made in collaboration with a Saugerties-based company called Alleyway, or one of the other sweet snacks from the tall metal basket across from the cash register. Harana Market’s grocery options extend to dessert and beyond. From fresh tofu and farm lettuce to soba packets, and bags of Nguyen coffee, you could theoretically do all of your grocery shopping here and be a very happy and well-stocked person.
One particularly exciting section of the shop is dedicated to small-batch hot sauce produced by women. The result is a lineup of colorful bottles: thick, gingery Filipino Djablo made in Brooklyn, Mama Lam’s Malaysian hot sauce from Long Island City, Abokichi’s Japanese miso chili oil that will genuinely change the way you cook, a set of Garam Goddess sauces using Indian spices like tamarind and cardamom, and a well-known favorite, Fly By Jing from LA.
Like its original lumpia rolling parties, Harana Market’s mission is as based in food as it is in bringing people together. On July 24th they’re hosting a harana concert - “a type of acoustic guitar music that you play to woo your lover under their window,” Eva explains - featuring one of the last living harana players. He just so happens to be the father of Djablo’s hot sauce maker based in Brooklyn.
If you’re going upstate this summer (or you just need an excuse to), Harana Market may very well be the highlight of your trip. Whether you’re looking for cooking supplies or a masterfully-prepared $15 dinner, follow them on Instagram so you don’t miss out on any specials. One day, you might be a regular too.