Organizers of the nascent Mission Community Market
hope to transform an underutilized block of Bartlett Street in the Mission into a thriving weekly market, where vendors sell their goods and kids play in the street after school. As an initial test, the Mission Community Market Collaborative (MCMC) is throwing a block party and fundraiser on Saturday, June 19th, at Bartlett and 22nd Street, both as a way to advertise the idea and to raise money for its implementation.
Jeremy Shaw, who has been organizing the market with the MCMC, hoped the kickoff event would bring enough people out to help the market gain traction. The project is meant to provide a community space and promote economic development.
"The point is to create choice for healthy foods," said Shaw, and "use it as an economic development engine where we create booths and stalls for Mission-based and local emerging businesses."
In addition to partnering with the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), the MCM will work with La Cocina, a non-profit in the Mission that helps street food vendors by offering an industrial kitchen and classes for enrichment. Other partners include Arriba Juntos, Mission Beacon after-school programs, Mission Small Business Association, Mission Merchants Association, Revolution Cafe, Rainbow Grocery, Bi-Rite Market and the San Francisco Great Streets Project, among others.
"The food part is the anchor," said Shaw. "People come to buy food, and that's how we support these other community programs."
Shaw and other market supporters got a boost yesterday when the Board of Supervisors waived the fees for closing the street for the June 19th fundraiser. Organizers go before ISCOTT, San Francisco's street closure permitting body, tomorrow to get approval for two months of weekly streets closures every Thursday, from 4-8 pm. Shaw is hopeful the permits will come through and has been working with the agencies responsible for street closures to improve those chances.