New ‘hipster’ green market to open in Berkeley

A new green market will open on June 12 in the parking lot at the Berkeley Adult School on San Pablo and Virginia. The founders of Beehive Market describe it as a “hipster green lifestyle market… celebrating all things cool about being a green localist”.

Isaac Cronin, who founded Beehive with Julia Fry, says the goal is to be a regional, destination market, providing all sorts of locally sourced and made products, in addition to some more typical farmers’ market stalls.

Cronin and Fry conceived the idea after being frustrated in an attempt to create pop-up stores for green products in empty storefronts on Shattuck. City officials had been encouraging, according to Cronin, but landlords were not interested. Councilmember Darryl Moore, however, approached the pair in January to see if they were interested in doing something similar in his West Berkeley district. The site at the Adult School was identified and Beehive is paying a market rate for the rental. Fry and Cronin secured seed funding from Give Something Back, the Oakland office supplies company that donates all profits to charitable causes.

“We’re hoping to become a real event for Berkeley,” says Cronin, who has lived in Berkeley since the days of the Free Speech Movement. “If it works, we’ll keep it going year round.”

Cronin says they already have 50 vendors for the market, with room for 68. There will be seven or eight farmers, an “urban street food” organic food court, and numerous stalls selling green products from around the Bay Area. Cronin cites Ecoforms, a Santa Rosa-based maker of pots out of rice hulls, as the kind of vendor that can be hard to find.

Cronin and Fry are booking a variety of bands to provide music at Beehive Market. The opening band on June 12 is Oakland-based Ja Electric Jahlectrik, which Cronin describes as “emo reggae”. Tables at the market will be made from wooden pallets, chairs will be milk cartons and cushions will be made from recycled trade show banners, stuffed with shredded, recycled plastic bottles.

Beehive Market will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

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  • I’ve lived in the the Adult School neighborhood for 12 years and have watched it become a rich and vibrant international community. I am SO excited for Beehive Market to set up residence in the parking lot that usually, on weekends, sits gaping and empty. Many thanks to Isaac Cronin and Councilmember Darryl Moore! Wishing all success!

  • jjohannson

    “City officials had been encouraging, according to Cronin, but landlords were not interested.”

    The city’s landlord’s seem not to know there’s a recession on.

    You know what would advance the interests of local, civic-minded journalism? An online, city-wide commercial real estate database. I’d love to know who owns the commercial real estate in my neighborhood, why they charge the rents they do, and why they allow their storefronts to go empty for months and years at a time.

  • TN

    I like this idea. Many Berkeley school yards are grossly underutilized during non-school hours. The yard at Rosa Parks Elementary is locked tight so that nobody can use it. In a town with very limited play space for both children and adults, it is a shame.

    I wish that they had kept the term “hipster” out of its description. I think that this would turn off as many people as it would attract.

  • RR

    Great news! I’ve been missing the Flea since moving here from Brooklyn.

  • Anna

    Good luck Isaac, break a leg tomorrow.

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