Photo courtesy of New Taste Marketplace.
Amid the pop-ups, underground markets and food truck parties taking place on a daily basis in the Bay Area, New Taste Marketplace stands out with its low-key vibe, terrific vendors and fundraising mission. Held at St. Gregory's Church in Potrero Hill, New Taste Marketplace takes place once a month and features approximately 30 food vendors selling hot dishes to eat on-the-spot and artisan foods to take home. Community members and families sit on the altar and in spots all over the church listening to music and eating everything from Asian-fusion cupcakes to Thai curries and pierogis. "Think of it like an overgrown bake sale," says Elianna Friedman, Market Director.
Customers gain access to New Taste Marketplace by giving a small donation, which goes to The Food Pantry and St. Gregory's to support their efforts to provide food to San Francisco's hungry. Since its inception in November 2010, New Taste has raised over $10,000—money that goes toward a food giveaway that takes place each week at St. Gregory's. "I love that New Taste is held in the exact space as the food pantry on Fridays," says Friedman. "I hope that it adds to the sense of giving and community."
The vendors that you'll find at New Taste are small and mostly only found at other similar markets around the Bay Area. On a recent visit to New Taste, I took home rabbit pate from Dehesa Foods, goat cheese mozzarella from Faerie Goatmother, kimchi from Monchi Foods and wheat pasta from Baia Pasta.
"The same vendors don't come every time, which creates space for new vendors," Friedman commented. "Some vendors outgrow the market, and they move into something more permanent." Markets such as New Taste are serving as incubators for food vendors around the city.