Behind the Scenes at ForageSF's New Batch Made Market

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Flickr/forageSF
ForageSF's original Underground Market.
Batch Made is a new column from forageSF and Batch Made Market founder Iso Rabins, chronicling the ups and downs of the San Francisco foraging lifestyle.

We're almost ready to launch! Batch Made Market, the next step for The Underground Market, debuts this Sunday, Sept. 8 (second Sunday in September for those with a lingering love for alliteration). I'm really excited about this new market. Batch Made stems from the same foundational beliefs that led to the creation of the Underground Market: the belief that making and selling food should be a community affair, that creative people need support to make their dreams a reality, and that a strong local food system spells a strong society. It's exciting to see sapling vendors who started at the first Underground Market just a few years ago grow into mighty oaks of artisan food creation. I can't wait to see what Batch Made creates over the next year of markets.

It takes a lot to create an event like this. Weeks and months of brainstorming, searching for venues, choosing vendors, and paying permits. Want to make your own? Here's a step by step:

Step 1: Sample Day
Remember as a child, walking around the grocery store with your mom or dad, crossing your fingers that someone, somewhere would hand you a sample. Every market begins with this joyous occasion. Four straight hours of tasty samples delivered from people who are excited and ready to get their food out to the public. Sample day allows potential vendors an opportunity to bring a taste of their product and give some background about their journey as a food entrepreneur. It's incredibly fun to see what everyone is making, and it's really nice to meet everyone and talk to them about their product. Be it candied beef jerky or Vietnamese street food, every food producer's excitement and connection to their craft trickles out as they walk through our door.

Step 2: Vendor Selection
A market is like a recipe; balance is very important. For some reason, sweets seem to be the dominant genre potential vendors are working with (note to aspiring makers, go savory!), so we have to work hard to get a good balance of savory and sweet at the event. We've got a great line up this month, including Scotch egg muffins with red eye gravy, sea salt caramel ice cream, and slow-roasted pulled pork and Vietnamese tacos.

Step 3: Creative Interactivity
Part of the Batch Made vision is to do more than just give people food to eat. I personally get bored at markets that are just stuffed with food. You show up, wait in line, eat some food ... and then go home. I want more! I want games, I want workshops! We worked hard to get the best teachers out there and organized a great line up of workshops. Some teasers: Homebrew with Local Brewing Co, Sourdough with Josey Baker of The Mill, and Pour Over lessons from Wrecking Ball Roasters. Full schedule is here. All workshops will be outside (tickets get you comfy chairs under the tent), so even though they're sold out you can still come check them out. Aside from feeding your curiosity, you will have the opportunity to feed you competitive spirit at our 4-square tournament. Get a team together and sign up here.

And those are just the main things; there are a million less glamorous tasks. Behind every market a ton of time goes into organizing menus, site cleanup, preparing hand wash stations, buying fire extinguishers, etc... but in the end it all adds up to one amazing day.

A day when all the small things you've done in the weeks before add up to the creation of something new and unimagined. Something that gets people out of bed on Sunday morning to meet new friends and feel connected to their community. Something that helps budding food entrepreneurs along the road, or even better, give them just the right push to start their own. I think in the end that's what this market is all about. See you Sunday.

What: Batch Made Market
Where: 55 Duboce St, SF (Under the highway: between Mission/Valencia)
When: Sunday, Sept. 8th from 10am-8pm
How: $5 at the door

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