Posted by Gretchen Moore
It’s Time for a Public Market in Fresno
Image courtesy of the Fresno Food Expo
With an annual economic impact of nearly $106 billion, the San Joaquin Valley’s agricultural production is unparalleled. Located in the heart of the Valley, and easily accessible from all areas of the state, Fresno is in a prime location to host a public market. The timing is right, too, with renewed interest in downtown Fresno as evidenced by the number of new businesses opening downtown including Peeve’s Local Market, new downtown housing options, the $20 million investment into redesigning the city’s main street and the amazing Fresno Food Expo which grows exponentially every year. A public market is an ideal way to harness the valley’s agricultural offerings and the revitalization efforts already underway.
A public market will showcase local food producers and can follow in the footsteps of other cities like Milwaukee and Cleveland in using the market as an engine for economic development. I was so fortunate to visit Barcelona last month where I spent time at just a few of the city’s 45 public markets which are supplied by over 8,000 vendors and attract 65 million tourists each year. Barcelona has long been a city that embraces its markets and sees the benefit to providing residents with constant access to fresh, healthy, local food.
Check out some photos from my visit and imagine the impact that a public market could have on our city and our waistlines!
The famous Mercat de la Boqueria
Mercat de la Boqueria is so old, no one is exactly sure when it first opened
I loved the Santa Caterina Market with its lovely exterior & outdoor dining area
Fruit in every color of the rainbow
Gourmet spices and cured meats
Seafood so fresh it’s still moving
The world’s most adorable egg stand
Empanadas in every flavor
Counter restaurants so shoppers can take a break for some tapas and a beer
Shop owners who are happy to tell you all about their delicious, delicious cheese
Fabulous wine to carry out or ship as a gift
This is how Spain does fast food. As beautiful as it is delicious!
Prepared food that is almost to lovely to eat. Almost.
So many vibrant hues and exotic aromas at the spice shop
Satisfy even the sweetest of sweet tooths…teeth?
Fresno has everything we need to open a public market: delicious, unique and local food; historic buildings downtown with plenty of space to house a market; and a community that is willing to support such projects. Now is the time to make the Fresno Public Market dream a reality.