In the heart of San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, La Cocina will open the country's first women-led food hall to prove that economic inequality doesn't have to be the status quo.
With community resources, city, federal and philanthropic support, and the talent of the entrepreneurs at La Cocina, our Municipal Marketplace will offer economic opportunity for low-income and immigrant women, a safe and accessible space for Tenderloin residents and stand as an innovative model for anti-gentrification, conscious development, and private and public partnerships.
La Cocina firmly believes that this community-led economic engine can be a transformational and replicable model to alleviate poverty in inner cities nationwide.
Prioritizing Health and Safety with Opening
La Cocina businesses are struggling. By the end of March, 70% of our businesses had lost 100% of their sales and 90% of businesses laid off or furloughed their entire staff. For 68% of entrepreneurs, their business is their full-time job. For 56%, their business is their entire family’s sole source of income. While 50% of businesses are selling again, some are only making 10% of their pre-Covid sales. Our staff is focused on supporting the resiliency and solvency of our entrepreneurial community. You can learn more about our response efforts here.
After a six-week pause on construction in March due to Covid shelter-in-place mandates, construction resumed and was complete the following October and inspections passed in December. It should be a moment of celebration. But it’s a scary and complicated time for our entrepreneurs and small businesses — particularly because without large-scale assistance or a clear path to opening on a national level, the economy won’t support them.
As such, we have been working on how to safely operate and open the space amidst the chaos of Covid resurgence and reopening, prioritizing the needs of our entrepreneurs and the Tenderloin community we’ll serve. We're looking to activate the space by providing take-out and delivery by six businesses early spring 2021. However, we don't anticipate opening the doors for dine-in until it's safe for all and fiscally responsible for our organization.
We will be communicating directly to funders and community partners about our plans/timing for opening. Until then, please read Monica Burton's article about our Marketplace in Eater on Dec. 14 and consider a contribution to La Cocina to help us brace for the pandemic's lasting economic impact.
An Innovative, Transformational and Replicable Model
Create opportunities to support seven immigrant and women-owned businesses with an estimated $400,000 in annual sales per vendor.
Provide delicious, healthy affordable meals to residents who face a combined lack of access to fresh produce and live in SROs without cooking equipment.
Create 30-40 jobs estimated at $1.3MM in total wages for Tenderloin residents in a neighborhood with one of the city's highest unemployment rates.
Create a uniquely inclusive, safe, healthy, equitable and welcoming space for families, tenants and workers in the Tenderloin through deliberate programmings.
Delicious, Wholesome, and Affordable Food
Serving Those Who Are the Backbone of Our City
The very density of the Tenderloin -- the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the city with 30,000 residents -- alone speaks for the need for more job opportunities, community spaces, and affordable food options.
The Tenderloin has the highest population density in the city, the highest density of children, and one of the highest poverty levels. The unemployment rate for residents is nine percent, double the California and national unemployment rates. And 70 percent of Tenderloin housing is single room occupancy with only 39 percent of residents having access to a stove -- severely limiting food preparation capabilities.
These individuals and families are the backbone of our city—the workers, students, strivers and new arrivals that have always shaped San Francisco with their day-to-day lives. These residents deserve employment, more affordable food options and more places to sit around the table.
Location and Hours
La Cocina Municipal Marketplace
101 Hyde Street (at Golden Gate Ave.), San Francisco, CA 94102
Proposed Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Projected Opening: Spring 2020