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EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — Kitchens are always busy this time of year, but there’s no such thing as too many cooks at La Marqueta. 

It’s a make-or-break season for small businesses trying to survive during the pandemic, and La Marqueta’s shared kitchen helps keep some chefs going. Businesses lease space there at the complex under the Metro-North railroad tracks.

It’s also a place that’s hosting some preparations for the return of the Harlem Night Market Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Maryam Boddie, the chef and owner of Maryam’s Yum Yum, said her business made it through 2020 with connections to community groups ordering meals. She said she looks forward to expanding more next year.

The staff at La Fonda, a restaurant on East 106th Street, has also been using the space to prepare its unique Puerto Rican specialties.

Maryam’s Yum Yum and La Fonda were just a sample of the dozens of vendors ready to return to the market at East 116th Street and Park Avenue.

Uptown Grand Central started the event in 2019, but it was scaled back last year.