What did the Mission say?

As I approached the youth surveyor’s booth at MCM last Thursday, all six surveyors were engaged in conversation with a passer-by. They looked relaxed and in charge, fielding questions about where to use the bathroom even as they explained Read more

La Cocina Entrepreneurs Hit the Streets

Over the past six years, La Cocina’s Street Food Festival has become a San Francisco staple. The festival features innovative food, education and discussion, and a chance for the SF community to share experience and taste with each other. At the Read more

A Sweet Addition to MCM

A woman hangs out of a window, leaning over the edge to serve grits. On the other side of the window, the grits are cooked in small batches, with lots of cream, cheese, and hot sauce. That’s the vision that Read more

La Cocina Entrepreneurs Hit the Streets

Posted on by Kaiya Gordon in 4505 Meats, Blog, Chaac Mool, HellaVegan Eats, La Cocina, Sugarfoot Grits | Leave a comment

Over the past six years, La Cocina’s Street Food Festival has become a San Francisco staple. The festival features innovative food, education and discussion, and a chance for the SF community to share experience and taste with each other.

At the center of all the flags, festivity, and great-eating are passionate woman. That’s right––along with filling your stomach, the festival is a radical way to support local female entrepreneurs.

La Cocina started in 2005 and is based in the Mission District of San Francisco. The organization provides training, practice-spaces, and support to local food entrepreneurs, focusing on low-income women who want to break into the food industry. Traditionally, working in food can be difficult for those from under-privileged areas, because running a successful food business requires a large overhead cost. And, like so many other industries, being a woman–particularly a woman of color–presents challenges of its own: lower pay and fewer opportunities. Even though San Francisco is the home to many non-male powerhouses creatively running and owning their own business, the public image of a chef is still male.

That’s why La Cocina’s innovative program is so important––it creates space for and amplifies the voices of women who are passionate about food, San Francisco, and their families. La Cocina describes this process, and the content of their program on their website. You can also watch their 6-minute film called “Tameles & Piroshkis: A Journey Stuffed with Love” (but be warned: you might cry). Featured in the video are two of La Cocina’s incubator businesses. Other incubators might be familiar faces to you from MCM––Chaac Mool, Sugarfoot Grits, and HellaVegan Eats are all connected to the La Cocina program.

“[La Cocina] is about the general day to day support,” said Stephanie Fields, owner of Sugarfoot Grits. “During my first outdoor festival they came and stood with me for my health inspection. Health inspections are scary––it’s like Mary Poppins checking the dust under everything. It sounds boring, but that support means a lot.”

What is the festival?

La Cocina’s Street Food Festival is a multi-day celebration of local food vendors and top chefs. This year, the festival will be kicked off on Friday, August 15th, with the new Friday Night Family Meal, which will feature unlimited varieties of fried chicken from 11 different chefs hailing from Seattle, Oakland, Austin, Alabama, and San Francisco.

The main event––a street food festival boasting over 80 vendors––will be hosted on Saturday, August 16th in the Mission District. On Folsom St. between 20th and 26th, the city will be transformed into an urban food paradise. Expect big crowds, big portions, and even bigger smiles.

La Cocina notes on the event page that the most important part of the street fest are the women who “drive and inspire the festival every year and serve food any street, neighborhood, and the whole Bay Area should be proud of. By serving food, they serve the community, and continue to make the Bay Area’s foodscape one of the most vibrant and diverse communities out there.”

Lastly, the La Cocina community is providing a platform to talk about food with the La Cocina Food & Entrepreneurship Conference on Sunday, Autust 17th. The conference includes conversations about fair prices for ethnic food, food manufacturing, how to use food to bring communities together, and interactive workshops! To be part of the conversation, buy a ticket online. Don’t worry––if you want to go but don’t think you can afford it, La Cocina is funding scholarships.

What should I eat?

As much as you possibly can! Make sure to visit MCM’s own HellaVegan Eats, who will be serving potsticker burritos–a sweet and sticky meal packed with rice, vegetables, potsticker skin and wrapped in a tortilla–”chicken” and waffle mini bites, and their incredible strawberry-watermelon-basil aqua fresca (seriously, how does such complex flavor come from water?!). HellaVegan describes their food as a “multi-cultural explosion of flavor,” and their dishes always deliver color and taste. You’ve seen them every Thursday this summer, handing out their hellafornia burritos, crunchy salads topped with tofu or tempeh, and vegan cupcakes to hungry crowds at our mercado.

And don’t miss 4505 Meats, another MCM favorite, who will be serving the festival with “Frankaroni” and cheeseburgers. Last year, their macaroni rendition caused swarms of hungry cheese-lovers to crowd their tent, so be sure to visit early!

If you’re still hungry, finish the day with something sweet––try one of the eight treats from this list by 7X7SF.

At Mission Community Market, we appreciate all of the hard work that our vendors put in. As an event celebrating local talent and dedication, La Cocina’s Street Food Festival is a remarkable opportunity to engage with the SF food community and share light and love with the streets of San Francisco.

MCM’s Hidden Gems

Posted on by EmilyN in Arizmendi Bakery, Blue House Farm, Chaac Mool, Winters Tree Fruit | Leave a comment

Even our most loyal shoppers may be missing out on some of the best products that MCM has to offer, simply because they don’t know where to look! This week, we’d like to let you in on some of the best-kept secrets at MCM – in the hope that they won’t be secrets for long!

We know you love their assortment of raw and flavored nuts, but have you tried the deliciously creamy Roasted Almond Butter from Winter’s Fruit Tree? Come on down and pick up a jar this week!

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You may frequent their stall for their yummy tacos and tamales, but did you know that you can take home those fresh, handmade corn tortillas from Chaac Mool? At just $3 a dozen, what are you waiting for?

Blue House Farm offers some of the best organic greens and veggies around, but have you tried their dried Cannellini beans? These beans are nutrient-rich and delicious!

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We know you love their bread, but this week, try some fresh hummus from Arizmendi Bakery for just $3.50! We also have it on good authority that they’ll soon begin selling their own sauerkraut as well.

Don’t miss your chance to grab all this good stuff and more, this Thursday at MCM!

No Time To Cook? MCM has 7 Shortcuts for You!

Posted on by Dana Crary in Achadinha Cheese Company, Arizmendi Bakery, Blog, Chaac Mool, Coastside Farms, Happy Boy Farms, Home Made Ravioli, Jarred SF Brine, Marla Bakery, Roli Roti, Shrimp & Love, Vendors | Leave a comment

Although a visit to the market offers inspiration to cook with fresh, interesting, and colorful ingredients, it can be difficult finding the time to create epic meals from scratch. Mission Community Market has some excellent options for those who are short on time to spend in the kitchen. We’ve created a list of seven awesome products at MCM to help you create that delicious and nutritious semi-homemade meal in a snap!

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1. Home Maid Ravioli – Home Maid Ravioli Company carries several different types of freshly-made ravioli, pasta, and sauce. Highlights are Lobster Ravioli, Lemon Linguine, and their highly addicttive Garlic Cheese Dip which can be baked on sliced bread from Arizmendi to create some spectacular garlic bread. Although these pasta sauces are tasty on their own, they can be supplemented with produce such as onions and zucchini to make for a perfectly well-rounded meal.

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2. Happy Boy Farms Salad Mix - Colorful, fresh and certified organic, these greens have Nasturtium flowers sprinkled on top for some extra color and bite. No need to wash or chop, these greens are ready to eat right out of the bag. Toss some dressing on top and serve as a perfect side with any meal… perhaps next to some Home Maid Pasta.

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3. Chaac-Mool Corn Tortillas – Nothing beats a freshly made tortilla. Chaac-Mool’s hearty and wholesome creations, sold by the dozen, are so good they can be eaten plain as snacks, as quesadillas with some Broncha from Achadinha Cheese Company, or wrapped around delicious mix-ups at taco night.

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4. Coastside Farms Smoked Salmon - Rich and smokey, this buttery fish is wild-caught weekly in Alaska and smoked in San Jose. Coastside’s flavors include Garlic, Black Pepper, Honey, or just Plain, and they’re all simply delicious. Add it to your Happy Boy Spring Mix to create an awesome lunch or light dinner!

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5. Roli Roti Roasted Chicken and Potatoes - The line for Roli Roti Chicken often extends down the market for good reason. Too bad our photo doesn’t convey the glorious smells coming from their truck. As these herb-infused free-range chickens are spun on their rotisseries, all of their delectable juices fall onto organic rosemary fingerling potatoes. Take a whole chicken home with a pack of potatoes and let your imagination go wild; if you don’t end up wolfing it all down beforehand. An extra bonus is the delicious chicken stock you can make with the leftovers!

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6. Jarred SF Brine Pickles -  Organic produce preserved at the peak of its season, Jarred pickles can be snacked on, cooked with, or even thrown into a spicy cocktail. Check out Emiliana’s website for some inspiration and consider chopping up some pickled goodies to add to your Roli Roti potatoes or add some zing to your salad.

7. Marla Bakery Hand Pies – It’s no secret that Marla’s sweet treats are amazing, but did you know you can also get dinner at their booth? Every week, Amy and Joe lovingly create unique, delectable hand pies that can be taken home for a nice hearty treat. This week, choose from red wine & plum braised brisket or buttered summer squash, corn, and early girl tomato succotash. The flavors change weekly, so take a break from cooking and come down to see what they have to offer!

People of MCM: Chris

Posted on by LaurenG in Blog, Blue House Farm, Chaac Mool, People of MCM, Peter's Kettle Corn, Roli Roti, Shrimp & Love, Tomatero Farm, Twin Girls Farm, Vendors | Leave a comment

peep o week

Chris regularly comes to MCM with his family. The rest of the family was feeling a little camera-shy, but they all love visiting the market!

Where do you live? Noe Valley

How often do you come to the MCM? Twice a month, after picking up the kids at the Friends School nearby.

What are you buying? We always stop for kettle corn at Peter’s Kettle Corn!  Today, we got fruit from Twin Girls, carrots and berries from Tomatero, some other veggies at Blue House. Sometimes we get a chicken from Roli Roti, or dinner from Chaac-Mool.  We’ve also bought the ceviche from Shrimp & Love Ceviche.

What’s your favorite part of the market? It’s very convenient and friendly. We love the live music, too.

What’s the best kept secret at MCM, or something you would like people to know about? We tell all our friends to stop by, because you can easily find a parking spot on Valencia towards the beginning of the market.

People of MCM: Kevin, Raffle Winner!

Posted on by LaurenG in 4505 Meats, Blog, Blue House Farm, Bok Ssam, Chaac Mool, Marla Bakery, People of MCM, Twin Girls Farm, Vendors, Yerena Farms | Leave a comment

Meet Kevin, who was the lucky winner of $50 towards shopping at MCM in our neighbor appreciation raffle! Neighbors who received an MCM flier on their door were eligible to enter, and Kevin took home the prize!

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Where do you live?  21st and Shotwell

How often do you come to the MCM?  This is my third time!

What are you buying?  I bought dinner for us– pulled pork from 4505 Meats, a Korean Fried Chicken & Waffle Sandwich from Bok Ssam, and nachos from Chaac-Mool.  I also got beets and spring onions from Blue House, nectarines from Twin Girls, raspberries from Yerena Farms, and a lamb tart from Marla Bakery.  I even have $4 left for next week!

What’s your favorite part of the market?  I like that it’s so close.  We don’t have a car, so it’s super easy and very straightforward.  Also, we just met some neighbors here, and there’s a sense of community.

What’s the best kept secret at MCM, or something you would like people to know about? There are not the same throngs of people here like other markets, it’s more mellow.