Our pilot phase was a year long program featuring two immigrant women taking steps towards starting their own food businesses.
The Selection Process
After contacting more than 160 community organizations affiliated with immigrant and refugee affairs, 37 applicants representing 18 countries came forward as applicants for our program. They participated in a business readiness training program hosted by The Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. Along with professional chefs, community leaders, and culinary educators, we selected our two MarketShare Fellows.
From Selection to Opening Day
The Fellowship began in early November 2014 and our first course of action was to do some field research at local farmers markets, by studying other food stands in operation. The Fellows worked hard with teams of design and culinary consultants, brought in by MarketShare, to craft resonant brands and delicious menus. After our first-ever fundraiser raised more than $22,000, the MarketShare team purchased a truck and got to work building the food stand. After one month of construction and thorough testing, our Filipino food stand debuted at the Fremont Sunday Market in early May 2015. For the duration of the summer season, the stand operated at busy markets and festivals all around Seattle. People could not get enough of the food!
A Permanent Marketplace is the Answer
- The rising minimum wage is putting increasing pressure on mobile food vendors’ to increase prices or sustain profit loss.
- Mobile food stand vending is extremely physically grueling and difficult to sustain in the long-term.
- Seattle crowds are difficult to predict as the number of local festivals increases yearly giving consumers more choices in where they spend their time.
- Current permitting structures are cost prohibitive and drastically limit the mobility of a food stand.
- Seattle weather has the potential to dramatically and negatively impact revenue potential.
- The food was a HUGE hit!
Meet the Fellows