1. The Last Underground Market

    On December 22nd, forageSF held their last Underground Market.

    This is where Katie and I first met. At the time, we were two separate Vietnamese food vendors known as KitchenSidecar and Little Knock.

    The Underground Market gave us an excuse to cook and sell food we believed in. After joining forces, we built a pop-up restaurant and did tons of traveling and writing.

    And we accomplished this while watching forageSF and our other Underground Market vendors build their business from the ground up: Nosh This, PizzaHacker, Mission Cheese, Sour Flour, Homeroom, Josey Baker Bread and countless others. 

    We all grew up and became legit — therefore the market was no longer “underground.” Iso felt like it was time to move on and focus on building Forage Kitchen, a commissary kitchen for small businesses like ours.

    He wrote on his blog about the closing: “The market was a moment in time, a great time, an exciting time, and one of the things I am most proud of creating. I’ve come to realize that it has served its purpose, and now we need to focus on taking the next step in this movement.”

    The photo above is also a marker in time. It’s funny because in the two years we all hustled the market, I don’t think Katie, Iso and I have ever had a spare minute to pose with each other.

    Now we both have more streamlined businesses, allowing us to step away from hustling to snap this picture. This is our graduation photo.

    We look forward to what the future has in store for Forage Kitchen and all of us that have been through the Underground Market. To the next adventure!

    Photo by the always lovely Andria Lo

     

  2. Why We Need Forage Kitchen

    Three Reasons Why We Need Forage Kitchen

    1. We need a space that is affordable, made by small business owners for small business owners.
    2. We need a commercial kitchen space with soul, whose intent goes beyond being just a kitchen space, but a community space where people inspire each other to cook good food.
    3. We need more delicious food. Always.

    —-

    Most of the time, we just need an excuse to make great things happen.

    forageSF's Underground Market propelled hundreds of people to start their own food busineses. It gave people an outlet, a space, and the encouragement that you can follow your dreams, feed good people, and support yourself while doing so.

    Katie and I started out as separate Vietnamese food vendors; Katie slang Banh Mi Burgers in one corner, while I was hustled Vietnamese crepes across the way.

    We are where we are today because forageSF gave us the the excuse to make shit happen — and that goes a long way. Many of our former Underground Market friends (and now legit food business owners) can attest to being inspired by the underground food movement.

    forageSF is now starting Forage Kitchen, a food co-working space for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs, home cooks, and adventurous eaters. It’s a place where you can learn how to break down a pig or eat bacon-wrapped mochi from a vendor, and then if you feel inspired, maybe look into how you can turn your bacon-curing hobby into a full-time gig (that you actually love and enjoy.)

    We hope you will join us in making Forage Kitchen happen.

    Donate here.