Boston Public Market – USA

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Most farmers’ markets are long-established focal points for countryside-to-city trade. Some such markets have existed for over two hundred years or longer, providing fresh vegetables and farm produce to urban dwellers. It is therefore seldom, that a city marshals the considerable resources, community-backing and investment required to build a new, state-of-the art, year-round venue for local food producers. Boston is a laudable exception.

In today’s podcast, we have the privilege of meeting Tiffany Emig, Market Manager for the new Boston Public Market, which opens its doors later this year in July 2015.  As Market Manager, Tiffany’s role is crucial in helping to vet and manage the vendors, who will have the wonderful opportunity of establishing their food business in the new market. Listen-in as Tiffani shares with us a sneak preview of the new market’s guiding principles and the kinds of opportunities, which exist for you as a budding food entrepreneur.

Some excerpts from today’s podcast:

There are, as far as I know other markets in Boston, for example along Rose Kennedy Greenway at Dewey Square. Why is there a need for a new Boston public market?

Traci: I think, historically, the concept of finding a place in the centre of the city, where customers can go and the community can go and meet all sorts of different growers, purveyors and producers is a very important one. It’s one, that a lot of cities got away from – and Boston is one of those – sometime mid twentieth century.  This concept of the importance of local food, of connecting with your food source has really become more popular over the past decade. And the demand for local food has risen astronomically.

We do have farmers’ markets in Boston, the Dewey Square market being one of them – and it’s one that we operate. But, we don’t have that year-round, seven-day-a-week, or at least a five-day-a-week operation that is really retail-food-centric. In Boston, many people are familiar with Quincy Market and the Faneuil Hall area. That was historically a produce and meat-market, where people could go for their shopping, pick things up, and go and eat.

With the growth of urbanization, and the build-up of ‘downtown’ and the changes and dynamics of what’s around that area, it (Quincy) has become more of a prepared-foods market these days. So, we’re still looking for that year-round source of produce and meat and seafood and all the great things that make New England food unique.

Have you seen a growth or a marked interest among the population of New England in seeing a resumption of these markets; perhaps a strengthening of the tradition of buying food from local producers?

Traci: Absolutely. Farmers’ markets are increasingly popular and increasingly competitive, in that every neighborhood has a farmers’ market. But, the challenge is  – especially here in Massachusetts – what we do in winter months. What do we do in January, in February? A lot of farmers are starting to respond to that by working through stronger root-vegetable production, and building coop-houses to extend their season and going through value-added processes so that they can they have things like pickles. So, there are a few year-round farmers’ markets in the Boston area; those have been wonderful!

Actually, I was just at one this morning. It was packed! It was absolutely packed! So, the demand is extremely high and I think that demand can help feed more supply. And I think that we can challenge more farmers to move into year-round production and to ‘push their seasons’ a little bit. And that’s been really fun!

Now listen to the rest of this episode, where you will learn:

  • What features and areas will form part of the layout in the new Boston Public Market
  • Which kinds of food business may succeed in the market
  • Why there will be no olive oil for sale anywhere in the market
  • The kinds of conditions which a food-stall holder can expect
  • How important the principles of ‘community atmosphere’ and ‘flexibility’ are to the trustees
  • How challenging it can be to make a success of a farmer’s market
  • What the board and members of the community are looking for when considering your application
  • What kind of support and resources you can avail of as a tenant to make your business a success
  • Why your food products must be produced in a certified production kitchen
  • How potential benefactors can make a donation to the Boston Public Market Association
  • When the first round of successful vendors will be announced in 2014.

Useful Links and Resources:

bostonpublicmarket – Boston Public Market – Boston, USA
cropcirclekitchen – Shared-space food business incubator in Dorchester – Boston, USA
deweysquare – Dewey Square Public Market – Boston, USA
pikeplacemarket – Pike Place Farmers’ Market – Seattle, USA
readingterminalmarket – Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia – USA
clarkparkmarket – Clark Park Farmers’ Market – Philadelphia, USA
grownyc – Greenmarket Farmers’ Markets Network – NY, USA
originalfarmersmarket – The Original Farmers’ Market – Los Angeles, USA
benningtonfarmersmarket – Bennington Farmers’ Market – Vermont, USA
farmersinspired – North American Farm Direct Marketing Association – USA
farmersmarketassociation – National Farmers’ Market Association – USA
texasfarmersmarket – Farmer’s Markets at Cedar Park and Mueller – Texas, USA
milkmarket – Limerick Milk Market – Limerick, Ireland

Thanks to our guest… and thanks to you!

A very special thanks to today’s guest, Tiffany Emig, Market Manager of the new Boston Public Market for her generosity in giving us food producers an insight into what we can expect later this year when the market opens its doors.

Best wishes to the team at the Boston Market Association including Cailla, Liz, MacKenzie, Julia, Shaquille and Megan. I hope, that we have not left anyone out. Looking forward to hearing more later this year!

Thanks especially to you for listening to today’s podcast here on makemoneywithfood.com, home of the food entrepreneur!

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About Author

Mark Hayes - Editor

Graduating after 4 years at Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland, Mark worked in hospitality and restaurant management roles for ClubMed, Disney (in both Florida and Paris, France), Sheraton Hotels (Frankfurt, Germany) as well as management positions in restaurant chains in the UK. Mark completed an MBA in 2010 with a master's thesis focused on food franchise operations. Through interviewing food business owners, franchise-holders and food-vendors, Mark found that he really enjoyed finding out exactly what compels people to start food businesses and what it is they do to make them profitable and rewarding. In recent years, Mark has also run a successful farmer's market business with his parents, both of whom are passionate 'foodies'. From sourcing ingredients to making food by hand, packaging it, pricing it and selling it in a competitive marketplace, Mark wants to help you to make your food startup a success.