Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Boston Public Market Announces Initial Round of Vendors for Permanent, Year-Round Local Food Market, Including East Boston Business

This just in from Corner Stalk Farm;
30+ Small Businesses to Sell Locally Produced Items Starting in July

BOSTON — The Boston Public Market today announced the first round of small businesses, including one from East Boston, who will sell locally produced goods in the new permanent, year-round market on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway directly above the Haymarket MBTA station. Starting in July, the 28,000-square-foot Market will house over 30 permanent, year-round vendors selling locally produced items such as farm fresh produce; meat and poultry; milk and cheese; fish and shellfish; bread and baked goods; flowers; and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods.

"We've been farming in East Boston for two years now and can't wait to start sharing our fresh local greens and herbs with the people of Boston," said Shawn Cooney, co-owner of Corner Stalk Farm, which grows standard and specialty leafy greens and herbs in recycled shipping containers. The Boston Public market is the perfect place for us to reach as many consumers as possible with the freshest produce in Boston."

The initial vendors announced today include farmers, fisherman, and food producers from Massachusetts and throughout New England, including Corner Stalk Farm in East Boston. The Boston Public Market will be the only locally-sourced market of its kind in the United States. Everything sold at the Market will be produced or originate in New England.

"The Boston Public Market will showcase the best of what Boston's local economy has to offer," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "These vendors represent the small businesses that fuel our economy, and will serve as a tremendous resource for our residents and visitors in downtown Boston."

The Boston Public Market will provide individuals with year-round access to locally produced, fresh food," said Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Matthew Beaton. It is the goal of the Baker-Polito administration and EEA to make fresh produce available to all Commonwealth residents. I am pleased the market will join the ranks of Massachusetts' more than 290 farmers markets, 40 of which are winter farmers markets, and its Community Supported Agriculture farms, farm stands, and pick-your-own operations."

"A year round public market, like BPM, that features farm fresh Massachusetts products will not only strengthen our growing agricultural economy, it will also garner additional consumer demand for nutritious, locally grown and produced food," said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. "Massachusetts is already a leader in direct market sales, ranked 5th in the U.S. Our farmers and food producers not only provide us with the best possible products all year round, they also preserve over 523,000 acres of open space, employee 28,000 workers and generate $492 million dollars for the Massachusetts economy."

Since 2007 Massachusetts' participation in community supported agriculture (CSA) has nearly doubled and agri-tourism sales have grown 127%. While nationally the U.S. witnessed a decline in agriculture from 2007 to 2012, Massachusetts was one of the few states that experienced growth in both number of farms and acres of farmland.

Our goal is to connect all residents of Boston with the best New England has to offer, and our vendors are at the heart of what we do," said Elizabeth Morningstar, CEO of the Boston Public Market. "These small businesses and food entrepreneurs have incredible experience growing and producing locally, and the multitude of flavors, colors, and stories they bring to the market is simply astounding."

The Market will span the ground floor of 136 Blackstone Street, which also contains the Boston RMV branch, entrances to the Haymarket MBTA station, vent stacks for the Interstate-93 tunnel, and a parking garage. The Market is located in downtown Boston's emerging Market District, next to the Haymarket pushcart vendors and the historic Blackstone Block.

"We're incredibly excited about this first group of vendors," said Tiffani Emig, the Boston Public Market's Market Manager. Some will be familiar to customers who have shopped at our seasonal markets on the Greenway, and some will be brand new. We can't wait for the people of Boston to meet them all."

The Boston Public Market has partnered with several organizations in Boston's growing entrepreneurial food community to help prepare vendors to sell their goods at the market. Several vendors, along with other local small food businesses, participated over the past six months in Interise's award-winning StreetWise 'MBA'" program aimed at growing jobs and creating more revenue. Vendors also received access to hands-on food production training and shared kitchen facilities at Crop Circle Kitchen's Pearl Food Production Small Business Center.

"I've known for a while that I have to change my business model from wholesale grower to farmer-florist," said Barbara Rietscha, owner of Stow Greenhouses in Stow, MA. "The StreetWise 'MBA'" program gave me the knowledge - and the courage - to make the change. Hearing about the real life experiences of both the mentors and my classmates has been invaluable."

The Boston Public Market will feature a diverse offering of programs designed to highlight regional culinary traditions and local food production, as well as inspire healthy eating and creative cooking among families and individuals. The Trustees of Reservations is the lead programming partner and will manage and staff a teaching kitchen in the heart of the market, working with other non-profit organizations and for-profit partners to offer exciting classes, demonstrations, and other programs.

The initial round of vendors can be found at www.bostonpublicmarket.org/vendors. Additional vendors will be announced over the coming months.

The Boston Public Market will be a 28,000 square foot permanent, year-round, self-sustaining market that provides fresh local food to consumers from all income levels and nourishes our community. It will be a civic resource, educating the public about food sources, nutrition, and preparation.

At the market, farmers, fishermen, and food producers from Massachusetts and throughout New England will offer the public a year-round source of fresh local food and an opportunity to taste, buy, and understand what our region has to offer. The market will house over 40 vendors selling locally produced items such as farm-fresh produce, meat and poultry, eggs, milk and cheese, fish and shellfish, bread and baked goods, flowers, and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods. The Boston Public Market will be the only locally-sourced market of its kind in the United States.

For more information and to follow the progress of the market, visit us at www.bostonpublicmarket.org.