Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
Reposted from www.helladelicious.com.
I have been following closely the adventures of the Underground Market that was started up in San Francisco a couple years ago and I would really like to see one get going here in Vancouver BC. I recently read this update from them, which takes a look at the lessons they have learned over the year and mentions that these types of markets have sprung up in Boise Idaho, Amsterdam, London and Colorado. If Vancouver wants to stay on the cutting edge of food security and sustainability this is a key ingredient.
The very first Underground Market they held in San Francisco was visited by Health Inspectors, tipped off by someone from a normal Farmer’s Market (they were upset by these vendors not having to pay all the fees etc etc that Farmer’s Market vendors have to pay). The Health Inspectors were actually very friendly and gave them some tips on how to do this legally. Basically they had to form a club and every vendor and shopper has to join for free by signing up and providing a legitimate email address. Seems simple and logical enough. Under the umbrella of a private club there is no reason why you can’t eat food that your neighbour makes in their own home.
With the current economy very shaky and looking to get more so a market like this will be a huge help for up and coming food-vendors. As the San Francisco Underground Market webpage says:
The SF Underground Market is an incubator. A place where budding businesses can get a leg up on their road to legitimacy.
Since they started the market about a year and a half ago with only 8 vendors, they have now grown to 47 vendors. It is wildly successful. In order to become a vendor all you have to do is have something to sell, have your own table and pay $50 for either the night or day market, this also covers the electricity fees. You don’t need to have produced your food in a commercial kitchen and you don’t need to pay for insurance or whatever else you normally have to pay for at Farmer’s Markets.
I am relatively new to Vancouver myself, but being one of the food loving folk (who isn’t really?) I have always dreamed of having some way to sell my food to others. I have been in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years and have never managed to get enough money together in one place to even be able to have my own food cart. Perhaps this is a way to get started. Plus it is a great way to build sustainable community.
I’ve got to be honest. I pretty much suck at organizing things in general. If anyone would like to help get this organized who knows Vancouver a little better. Let’s figure out when and where we can get together, find a venue and get Vancouver’s Underground Market rocking the city. Please post a comment and let’s figure it out! I already know what I am gonna be selling
We will be meeting Tues March 15 @ 6:30 -- 850 East 13th Ave. For this first brainstorming meeting it is probably more practical to not have too many folks or we may not be able to decide anything. At the moment we have about 7 people expressing interest to come and brainstorm and that seems like a good number. If more people are interested in the market, please stay tuned for future meetings.