The country’s first women-led food hall, Municipal Marketplace is planned to open in spring this year in the Mission District of San Francisco. The food hall has been years in the making, and is gearing up to be a unique showcase to prove that cities can serve all its residents.
La Cocina, the organisation behind the project, is a non-profit, women and immigrant-focused kitchen incubator based in San Francisco. The organisation plans to feature seven fast-casual stalls run by women chefs from the Bay Area, intended to be the brick-and-mortar space for La Cocina’s incubator program activities.
Noted as “the most important food organisation in San Francisco” by The San Francisco Chronicle, La Cocina provides support to primarily immigrant women and women of colour in building successful food businesses in the area. Since 2005, La Cocina has helped launch at least 28 different cafes, restaurants, bakeries and catering services for people of colour and immigrants.
The opening of Municipal Marketplace will be preceded by a week-long succession of dinners held between March 2 to 8, intended to be the first public introduction of the seven chefs selected for the food hall.
The chefs in the line up include:
Estrellita Gonzalez of Estrellita’s Snacks
Tiffany Carter of Boug Cali
Binita Pradhan of Bini’s Kitchen
Dilsa Lugo of Los Cilantros
Nafy Flatley of Teranga
Wafa and Mounir Bahloul of Kayma
Guadalupe Moreno of Mi Morena
Tenderloin, where the food hall is currently being built, is known as one of the last non-gentrified areas of San Francisco, an area holding one of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the state of California. With the support of the city, La Cocina aims to create not just a food hall, but an accessible, safe and affordable space for all its residents, a place where the community can come together.