YOU HAVE GROWN A THRIVING COMMUNITY FOR 25 YEARS
By participating in our farmers markets, you are strengthening our local economy, helping the next generation of sustainable growers and producers thrive, and cultivating an alternative food system that doesn't just feed but nourishes everyone in it.
Rooted in Resilience
In 1993, in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake, visionaries like you came together to reclaim a public plaza in front of the Ferry Building (shown at right) for farmers and city folks to gather, learn, share, and build deep, lasting connections through the power and joy of local food.
For 25 years, you have created a farmers market community that is resilient in times of trouble and sets the standard for the world, supporting the livelihoods of hundreds of family farms and small food businesses, and feeding thousands of people. In 2018, we were deeply grateful to celebrate this milestone anniversary with you, proof that visions can come true when we work together!
‘If you build it, they will come.’ A version of that iconic ‘Field of Dreams’ phrase may have originally described a baseball field carved out of a cornfield, but it’s nearly as applicable to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s tenure at the San Francisco Ferry Building, which has drawn legions of shoppers to the waterfront for decades as it’s evolved to become one of the largest—and most influential—farmers markets in the country.
—San Francisco Chronicle
Welcome, Mission Community Market!
In 2018, we were honored to bring our educational programs and operational support to the Mission Community Market. A thriving neighborhood gathering spot with deep roots in the Mission, the market provides access to healthy food for families, a platform for small local businesses, and a cultural venue for artists, musicians, and community groups. With your partnership, we've helped ensure the market's long-term viability and success.
Mission Community Market is a special market for us, it’s a family-type market. CUESA is a good addition, bringing support like outreach to chefs, new shoppers, and community involvement."
—Poli Yerena, Yerena Farms
Supporting Small Food Businesses
Our five weekly markets reflect the passion, innovation, and diversity of our community, and provide marketplaces for 170 family farms and food entrepreneurs. Your support ensures that local economies thrive, and that young farmers and immigrant-and women-owned food businesses can succeed.
You welcomed 26 new sellers to the CUESA family!
Alchemy Collective • Alexandre Family Farm • Arata Fruit • Avila’s Christmas Tree • Avila Farms • Beber Almondmilk • Bisou Chocolate • Blue House Farm • En Vie Naturals • Flour Chylde Bakery • Green Thumb Organics • Hale’s Apple Farm • Izalco Catering • La Oaxaqueña • Ledesma Farms • Left Coast Grassfed • Medrano’s Flowers • Mi Comedor • Mi Morena • Morris Grassfed • Nahua Pizza • Nucha Empanadas • Roti • Steadfast Herbs • Ugly Pickle Co. • Urban Organics
Providing a Platform for New Food Entrepreneurs
Through community partnerships with ally organizations such as La Cocina, Mandela Partners, and Mercado Latinx, you supported an additional 30 entrepreneurs as pop-ups at our farmers markets, as they connected with the public to build their business and brand, while offering delicious, handcrafted foods.
I love being able to open new taste and food horizons for people. And that’s also at the core of what CUESA does: helping people discover and enjoy good food and connect with the people who bring it to us.
—Aruna Lee, Volcano Kimchi
Farmers Fighting Climate Change
When you support CUESA, you are investing in a world where small, sustainable family farms can thrive. With your patronage at the farmers market, local farmers have been able to transition to organic practices, making deep investments in our communities' health and health of the earth. You make it possible for them to bring delicious food to our tables while contributing to a climate-wise future.
It makes me happy to know that we’re doing our small part to help slow down climate change. We couldn’t do what we do without CUESA. We need the next generation to be excited about food, so that they’ll want to go into farming and do it in a sustainable way.
—Sara Evett, fourth-generation farmer at McGinnis Ranch, recipient of a CDFA Healthy Soils Program grant
YOU ARE GROWING A POWERFUL FOOD MOVEMENT
From galvanizing gatherings to hands-on educational experiences, we have offered a platform for movement leaders to share their wisdom. With your participation, we have brought our community together to take action and build a powerful and inclusive food movement.
The Food Change
In early 2019, we launched The Food Change, a bold vision for the future that champions farmers, advocates, and everyday people who are making positive changes in our food system.
Through a larger-than-life photomural installation at San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building, a resource-rich website, and live events, The Food Change inspires people of all ages to take part in creating a fair, regenerative, and delicious food future.
Food democracy is vital to a healthy food system. The Food Change shines a bright light on people fighting for a better food system and invites everyone to take part.
—Nina Ichikawa, Policy Director at Berkeley Food Instititute
As our communities face increasing national and local political pressures, you gathered to build a powerful and engaged food movement, led by the next generation of activists and thought leaders. Together, we are developing solutions to face some of the most challenging problems of our day.
The Future of Food
More than 500 of you joined us at discussions—and an additional 2,000 online—to hear from leaders and take action in supporting women farmers, recentering our origins, growing youth leadership, creating subversive economies, planning for the next generation of farmers, and voting not just with our forks, but at the ballot box.
Education for Empowered Eaters
CUESA’s markets are places for us to gather and share food knowledge and foodways. Our free public programs aim to meet every eater wherever they’re at in their food journey. Our free Market to Table cooking demos and market tastings engaged more than 7,000 market visitors in making empowered food choices for our communities and the planet.
Access to the Experts
At the CUESA Classroom, we hosted renowned chefs and writers such as Jacques Pepin, Nik Sharma, Yasmin Khan, and Marion Nestle to answer your questions and share their knowledge. Here Binita Pradhan of Bini's Kitchen shows demo attendees how to make traditional Nepalese dumplings known as momos!
YOU ARE GROWING FUTURE LEADERS
For kids to be healthy and thrive, they need good food to nourish their bodies and their minds. With your support, CUESA's youth education programs connected over 2,500 children in our community with nature and fresh fruits and vegetables each year, and empowered them with skills to last a lifetime.
Youth Leading Change
With your support, more than 150 high school students learned about sustainable food jobs and got hands-on experience in the garden, in the kitchen, and at the farmers market.
They made connections between their personal health and the health of the planet, to help them become environmentally and socially aware thinkers and change makers.
In January 2019, CUESA launched Foodwise Teens, a paid job training program where teens build skills to sustain healthy lives and a healthy planet. Building on eight years of success in CUESA’s Schoolyard to Market program, Foodwise Teens takes CUESA’s youth programming to the next level with more professional and personal development opportunities for the teens. Students learn about sustainable food jobs and get hands-on experience in the garden, in the kitchen, and at the farmers market, while getting paid for their work. For most students, it was their first paid job!
Through my experiences with CUESA, I have learned that I can create a brighter future by working with youth to make sure that they are conscious of the societal and environmental issues we face today.
—Marissa Pho, student
Growing Strong: Foodwise Kids
CUESA’s Foodwise Kids is a free program for elementary school students that uses the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market as a classroom for the taste buds. Through comparative tastings, exploring the market, and a hands-on cooking lesson, children discover their love for fruits and vegetables, learn how to prepare healthy, seasonal foods, and become aware of their role in a sustainable food system. We served 125 classes from 32 schools last year!
Most of our students haven’t been to the farmers market before, and they might not shop with their parents. On the farmers market field trip, they’re the ones shopping, so it puts them in a role where they make decisions on their own… You would think it was a candy store! I’ve never seen children get so excited about produce. It’s amazing to watch.
—Bonnie Tse, teacher
Our dedicated volunteers and interns donated 5,810 hours over the year to teach kids to cook, support cooking demos and tastings, assist visitors at our farmers markets, and more. Local chefs and bartenders, advisory committee members, and corporate groups gave 4,185 additional hours in support of CUESA’s work and mission. You make this work possible!
THANK YOU FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE
We could not do this work without you. Through your generous financial support and donations of time and talents, you are inspiring a world that nourishes all people, local economies, and the living earth. Deep gratitude for your contributions from the board members and staff, past and present, pictured here at CUESA’s 25th Birthday Bash!