What: “Made in Baltimore” Food Vendor Fair
When: Monday, June 20, 2016, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: Lexington Market Arcade, 400 W. Lexington St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Who: 30 Baltimore food producers and 100 food buyers for local institutions and businesses
Our social enterprise City Seeds is excited to present its 2nd annual #MadeinBaltimore vendor fair!
The “Made in Baltimore” Food Vendor Fair offers small food-based businesses a great opportunity to connect with major organizations that purchase large amounts of food, including hotels, hospitals, schools and restaurants. The Food Vendor Fair is also a delicious opportunity for purchasers from the area’s major institutions to sample new, locally made products and learn more about Baltimore food-business owners.
This year’s fair will be held in historic Lexington Market where more than 30 Baltimore-based food vendors will showcase an array of products from baked goods to fresh produce, savory sauces to frozen desserts. A short program will take place at 9 a.m. with speakers from City Seeds, Baltimore Integration Partnership, Lexington Market, Baltimore Development Corporation, Kaiser Permanente and Taharka Brothers.
“Baltimore has a thriving food scene with businesses across the city producing great products,” said Kurt Sommer, director of the Baltimore Integration Partnership, a co-sponsor of the vendor fair. “Connecting these small, locally owned business to our major hospitals and educational institutions will help them grow, create new jobs and ultimately enrich our community.”
Many of the Baltimore institutions participating this year are working to hire locally and leverage their purchasing power to support Baltimore businesses which in turn creates jobs. Both medical and educational institutions need food suppliers to fulfill large and small scale contracts providing meals for students or patients as well as for catering opportunities, enabling a range of sizes of businesses to participate. Among the local institutions leading the way is the University of Maryland, Baltimore, which has focused over the past year on connecting to food vendors in Southwest Baltimore.
“We are always looking for more ways to support the community,” said UMB President Jay A. Perman, M.D. “Purchasing food from local businesses is a win-win for us.
UMB’s Local Food Connection Program connects UMB buyers with local food vendors in Southwest Baltimore, and we are encouraging all of employees to think, buy, and shop locally, every chance we get.”
A 2015 report found that record numbers of people in the U.S. are starting or running their own businesses – nearly 14 percent of working-age Americans or roughly 27 million people. “The number of small businesses is only going to increase in our region,” says Kim Bryden, program curator at the School of Food. “That coupled with growing consumer interest in buying local is the perfect combination for economic growth. When major institutions buy local, they can see their purchasing dollars at work.”
One of the vendors at this year’s fair is Strength to Love Farm, a 1.5-acre farm in the heart of Sandtown-Winchester, which will be exhibiting Baltimore’s best arugula and other fresh produce. Donzell Brown, who runs the farm, says, “The fair is going to be really important for us. Our biggest challenge is getting people to know we are there. No one is just going to drive by.” Brown is looking to build the farm’s own distribution networks after the farm’s former distributor folded earlier this year. Strength to Love Farm has a dual mission of providing job training and experience to individuals with barriers to employment as well as connecting the community to fresh food. The farm grows year-round in hoop houses and is able to fulfill large orders.
This is the second year for the Food Vendor Fair, which will feature 30 new vendors. At last year’s fair, the vendors were not only able to connect with major institutions, but also with each other. Connecting with fellow business owners allowed them to discuss their specific challenges as small, food-based companies. As the vendors identified similar needs, City Seeds was able to design programming to help them formalize and scale their businesses through the School of Food.
Shevon Kaintuck of Bmore Tasteful is one of the vendors who participated in last year’s fair. Creating recipes that taste like home, she says, “my business is all about family and food.” After last year’s fair, Shevon created a relationship with Johns Hopkins University’s catering arm, Bon Appétit, providing individual pies for their box lunches. In partnership with City Seeds, she participated in a tasting for Johns Hopkins and is hoping that will turn into a large contract for customized cookies. Kaintuck has also benefitted from the classes at the School of Food, which focus on business management and marketing skills to help small food-based businesses.
This year’s vendor fair is made possible through support from Kaiser Permanente, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Baltimore Integration Partnership.
Follow us at #MadeinBaltimore.
Baltimore Vendors Participating in the 2016 “Made in Baltimore” Food Vendor Fair
- Charm City Beverage
- Cuples Tea
- Thread Coffee
- Zest Tea
- Zivot Beverage
- Huckle's Brand
- Sassy Jams
- Tessemae's All Natural
- Woodberry Pantry
- 2am Bakery “Where the Dough Rises"
- Berries by Quicha
- Cameran's Treats
- From Momma's Kitchen
- Frozen Desert Sorbet
- Taharka Brothers
- Garden of Vegan
- Old Line Custom Meat Company
- Cureate Connect
- Eat Homer's Waffle Co.
- Lucky Clover Packaging
- City Seeds
- Everything Turkey
- Well Crafted Pizza
- Stonemill Bakery
- The Big Bean Theory
- Debbie's Cuisine Catering
- PEP Foods
- City Weeds
- Hungry Harvest
- Strength To Love Farm
The Baltimore Integration Partnership is a partnership of 14 anchor institutions in Baltimore, the Baltimore Mayor’s Office, local foundations and local nonprofit organizations working collectively to advance job opportunities for Baltimore through local hiring, local purchasing and community development. The BIP is funded nationally by Living Cities and locally by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Goldseker Foundation.
City Seeds is a culinary social enterprise of Humanim. Its mission is to develop the best culinary job opportunities, cultivate the savviest food entrepreneurs, support the finest local food businesses and have the most delicious social impact in Baltimore.
Lexington Market is the oldest market in America. Founded in 1782 at the site where it stands today, Lexington has served Baltimore and surrounding communities for more than nine generations. Today, the market has more than 100 vendors, offering everything from world famous crab cakes to fried chicken, authentic Indian delicacies to corned beef, fresh seafood to verdant produce.