Last Saturday’s inaugural Beehive Market was deemed a success by its founders and many vendors, despite a few teething glitches and some weather issues. The self-described “hipster” green market also drew compliments from residents in west Berkeley who saw it as a positive addition to their community.
Co-founder Julie Fry estimates about 1,000 people walked through the market which was held in the parking lot of the Berkeley Adult School. She said gusty winds — and a lack of stabilizing sand-bags — prevented them putting up signs promoting the market so they were particularly pleased with the turn-out.
“We see it as a soft opening and think it went very well,” she said. Vendors — a mix of local food suppliers, designer lifestyle and green-oriented service companies — reported doing brisk business, she said. There was a significant gap in the offering, however, as two big farmers who had promised to come failed to show up. “It left a big hole but we will fill it next time. Farmers can get stressed out,” Fry said.
Berkeleyside contributing writer Becca Freed went to the market and wishes she had been more hungry. “There were a bunch of food vendors with delicious-looking prepared stuff, which I want to go back to try. I did pick up some beautiful peaches, and shared a scoop of Rocketship’s vegan chocolate-brownie ice cream. It seems like the market will definitely grow as the word gets out to people and more vendors join.”
Reviewing the market on Chowhound, “Ernie in Berkeley” wrote he had some exceptional gumbo and remarked: “This place is not quite a farmer’s market, not quite a crafts fair, kind of an odd duck.” “Flavorenhancer” wrote: “It is still pretty small but this market has great potential and lots of room to expand.”
The Beehive Market aims to nurture local businesses that focus on sustainability. Vendors at the first market included Cupkates, accessories designer CC Star , Indie Cakes, CityCarShare and, as you’d expect, beekeeper Khaled’s Bees.
Fry, who launched the market with Isaac Cronin, said they also hope to act as an incubator for local musicians. Saturday saw reggae band Jahlectrik in action, and next week an Edith Piaf-style singer will be providing French cabaret type chansons.
The Beehive Market takes place every Saturday, 10-2pm, at 1701 San Pablo Avenue.
Watch the slideshow above to see some of the market vendors in action — click on “captions” for details.