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Permanent market for local farmers?

Has anyone else heard that they were looking to build an indoor marketplace (similar to the ferry building in SF) for local farmers and artisans in San Diego? It would be like a farmer's market, but with regular operating hours everyday, and feature only locally grown produce, local meats, cheeses, etc... I read several articles last month about it, ever saw a gorgeous website, heard they were close to choosing a location, but can't seem to find any mention of it now...

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  1. That would be fantastic if something like that comes to fruition. I was just at the SF Ferry Marketplace last week and loved eating my way through it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MrKrispy

      While I have enjoyed many a trip through the Ferry Marketplace myself, I honestly find it to be overly-curated and too "boutiquey". While they have some very nice vendors and it's definitely indulgent fun to explore, I wonder about all of the more grass-roots food artisans that we don't get to see there (that we all know exist particularly in that region), those who don't yet have the funds or brand recognition to be found amongst such company.

      It's somewhat akin to the Grand Crus of Bordeaux, where the classified growths have such a huge marketing advantage that their future success almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's like giving a boost to the operations that really don't need a boost at all... Not calling for a handicapping of the marketplace either, but just for a more level playing field where they can all compete side-by-side on quality alone...

      Rather than a permanent "food mall" with all of its implications of a somewhat static collection of vendors, I'd rather see more of a permanent "food bazaar" where the entry point (for both customers and vendors) is lower, the competition brisk, and where "cottage food" vendors can sit side-by-side their brick and mortar counterparts...

      1. re: cgfan

        A better example would be the classic 19th century farmers' market buildings in Philly and D.C.. Both are over a century old, both are glass and steel structures, both sell local food stuffs and artisan food creations, and both are open every day of the week with local small businesses dominating the trade. Yes, Philly is a crap hole in just about every other way (and despite gentrification D.C. still has its rough edges) but preserving these classic market places is something both cities have done right. The over all feel is decidedly more blue collar then S.F.'s Ferry building but I think San Diego could find room for both in one such building assuming they actually allocated money to build such a market which I don't see happening since San Diegans tend to be penny wise and pound foolish. We're the city who refuses to update our sewer system to comply with state and Federal clean water standards because we don't want to spend the money but then we end up paying massive fines which cost more then if we simply updated our sewer system to begin with. Hell, we can't even get the freeloaders to pay for the serves they use (such as trash collection) because the city is filled with carpet baggers who don't plan on staying very long (and so who don't want to spend a penny on long term investment in the city) and with retirees who simply want to die some where warm while spending as little as possible. So long story short long term investment and planning, no matter how intelligent or wise it is in the long run, won't happen here.

        1. re: oerdin

          I don't want to get into a non-food debate here, but to be clear, us "freeloaders" who don't pay for trash collection do so because of a voter-approved law from 1919. That's 90+ years ago. If they changed the law, we might pay. But it's still the law, so we don't.

          1. re: ekomega


            Count me among the high property tax paying freeloaders...

    2. I don't know what's involved with securing a spot here, but what about the Farmer's Market at 2121 Imperial?

      1. Folks, if you have specific information about the market alyd is referencing, please go ahead and post it. But 'they should build it here' and other speculation is really off-topic for our site. Thanks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: The Chowhound Team

          Thank you for allowing my post. I did not mean for this to be a place where people offer ideas about such a thing, I would only like to know if anyone has specific knowledge of what happened to the plans to build it. Was it scrapped? Anyone know the website? Etc...
          I know that it was in process as recently as 2 weeks ago, but can no longer find any mention, anywhere.Thank you!

        2. I'm sure I heard buzz about this happening at liberty station, although I find myself getting caught up in the rock church craziness when I go there and it puts me off a bit:

          1. I don't know if you have ever checked out the Ocean Beach People's Co-op but it's similar to what you are describing, in that it features mostly locally grown produce and it has regular operating hours. All the produce is labelled with the location it was grown, and in some instances, the name of the farm or farmer who grew it. They do carry produce from outside california, for instance tropical or out-of-season crops, but they are clearly labelled as such. I find it a good compromise since it isn't as limiting. I know my blood oranges come from fallbrook, my carrots are grown in escondido, and my apples are grown in santa barbara county.

            They don't carry any meat products, and I can't recall seeing local cheeses-- they carry quite a few local products, but most of their grocery stock are the same brands you'll see elsewhere. The prices seem to be cheaper than other stores for the same organic products (being organic they aren't cheap). The produce prices are actually cheaper than the farmer's market, for the most part, even though the quality is just as good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ikeg

              That is what stink's about People's Coop, it isn't a one-stop shop for me since I want a slab of bacon with whatever I am buying.

              1. re: MrKrispy

                Yeah, I hear ya-- We just head to Siesel's meats in Bay Park after we grab all of our produce. They have some of the best meats in town, probably better than anything they'd be selling at People's if they were so inclined.

                They have tremendous bacon.

            2. Are you sure you were not reading articles about the recently opened Market at Santa Monica Place in LA?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Encinitan

                Pretty sure, there was even a facebook page that I "liked" and that seems to have disappeared too. Oh well, perhaps it will resurface one of these days.

              2. It would be great to have a venue like that in our county. I miss the Reading Terminal Market in Philly
                and would love to have a space like that to graze/shop in .

                1 Reply
                1. re: kitchenhag

                  Is this the web site you were referring to: http://sandiegogrowers.org/

                  I’ve heard they ran out of money so their plans are on hold for now. We have a small CSA and I think something like this is a great idea if they can work out the details. It sure would be nice to have somewhere downtown where we could sell our extra produce when we have it.


                  Honeymoon Ranch


                2. There is also a place called Seasonal Organic Local that is going into Liberty Station, is that what you are thinking of?

                  1. I finally found it again! It is called SOL (Seasonal, Organic, Local) Markets, and it is scheduled to open in Liberty Station next year, Januaryish...
                    I knew I had read about this many months ago, not sure why all mentions of it disappeared from the internet for so long. But glad to know I am not losing my mind.


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: alyd

                      You'd think that *maybe* they would have thought twice before going with the acronym S.O.L.? Just sayin'....

                      Nonetheless, I'll be interested to see what they come up with.

                      1. re: nileg

                        I went through their whole website and they don’t talk much at all about their plans for offering local produce, mostly they just talk about their café and their beer and wine bar. Maybe they are still hashing things out.

                        I was sad to see no one from agriculture is involved. It would have been nice to see at least one person that is familiar with growing organic produce, but it Just seems to be lawyers, marketing and business people but I guess that is the way to go if you want to make money.

                        1. re: nileg

                          yea, wouldn't SLO have been better? kinda ties into slow foods...

                          at one time, I heard talk of something like the one in Vancouver (the name escapes me) being built in the old police station in front of seaport village.

                          1. re: sdnosh

                            SLO may have already been snagged by a group in San Luis Obispo

                      2. I think SOL and what you are talking about are two different things. There is still a plan afoot for something like this in the old police station by Seaport Village - supposedly it will contain a Pizzeria Mozza. I don't have time to look up the link to the article now, but I just saw something about it a month or so ago on SOSD.com

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Alice Q

                          Nope, this is exactly what I was talking about. They will be procuring produce and other goods from several local farms and have them all for sale in one permanent market operating on a regular daily schedule. They will also be featuring a prep kitchen where you can purchase foods made on the premises from these delectible goodies, as well as a demo kitchen and a tasting room for wine and beer.
                          Should prove to be an interesting and potentially wonderful development.

                          1. re: alyd

                            Actually, I *don't* think SOL Market is the same as a SF Ferry Building-style farmers market.

                            I think SOL is more in the Whole Food/Andronicos/Molly Stone mold with everything sustainable, organic and local. The permanent home for a large scale farmers market is more like the SF Ferry Building. Similar, but not quite the same. I think there is room for both and sincerely hope that SOL is successful as I think it's a key step in moving the understanding of good food forward in SD. I also hope they won't be using the Whole Food's pricing model, which rather defeats the purpose of providing San Diegans with our local agricultural products and sends a message that eating sustainably and locally is not affordable to the average consumer.

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              I don't think that Whole Foods is sending that message, nor do I believe eating locally is affordable to the average consumer here in San Diego.

                              The clientele at Whole Foods and those who shop the farmers markets are primarily from the same general [upper middle, wealthy] class echelon. I think that claim is bolstered because the prices for local produce are not all that different between the two. It is also important to consider the convenience of always having access to that produce at WF, the fact that WF is a customer of these same farmers, as well as their labor policies (health benefits and a closer to an above- the-poverty-level wage) which I think would be relevant to people who are fighting for the local/organic/sustainable movement.

                              Granted that there are programs trying to change that reality - such as what they have at the City Heights Farmers Market - you can't deny that eating healthy and local is still not quite in the reach of the masses.

                              PS I recognize that there are a lot of customers who shop Whole Foods that are not in that class range I described - that sincerely struggle to shop only there because what they offer is just that "whole foods" and wont settle for less for their families.

                        2. Anyone else see this little piece in SD Mag about the new farmers market in Barrio Logan that 's being designed/seeded to emulate the Ferry Building or Pikes Market - http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-D...

                          Location is across from where The Guild used to be and the principles in it have the know-how and resources to pull it off. I for one hope they are wildly successful.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              This will be a great boost for our local vendors to have a permenant place to display and sell their products. Hope it also attracts more local prepared food and speciality lunch options and offerings as well.