Greenway Farmers Market Begins Tomorrow

Greenway Farmers Market Returns With Fresh Local Food and a Taste of the Upcoming Boston Public Market

BOSTON -- The Boston Public Market's Greenway Farmers Market returns for the season today, bringing fresh local food to residents, workers, and visitors on the plaza at 136 Blackstone Street, opposite the Rose Kennedy Greenway's North End Parks. The Market offers farm fresh produce; meat, poultry, and eggs; milk and cheese; fish; bread and baked goods; flowers; and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods from more than a dozen local farmers, fishermen, and food producers.

"Despite the late spring, crops here are right on schedule, with greens coming in and strawberries starting to ripen," said Glenn Stillman, owner of Stillman's Farm in New Braintree. "We're excited to get the Greenway Farmers Market up and running and look forward to talking to customers about the upcoming Boston Public Market."

This season, the Greenway Farmers Market will run on Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., operating May through November.

"The Boston Public Market's Greenway Farmers Market is a wonderful opportunity to have easy access to fresh agricultural products right in the heart of the city," said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. "Buy direct from the farmer, the fisherman, the artisan - Buy Local!"

To kick off the season, the Greenway Farmers Market will have live music during lunchtime (12-2 p.m.) today and cozy picnic blankets to borrow - courtesy of the Greenway - so shoppers can enjoy their local food in the Greenway's North End Parks.

"Our seasonal farmers markets bring rural farmers and urban families together to share in their love of food," said Elizabeth Morningstar, CEO of the Boston Public Market. "It's great to be back on the Greenway this season as we prepare to open the Boston Public Market in July."

2015 Greenway Vendor Line-up:

Wednesday Vendors:
Wolf Meadow Farm: traditional Italian cheese
Stillman Quality Meats: pasture-raised meats and poultry
Stillman's Farm: fresh produce and eggs
Silverbrook Farm: produce, eggs, honey and jams
Red's Best: fresh seafood
EvyTea: cold brewed tea
Freitas Farm: fruits, vegetables and plants
When Pigs Fly Bakery: fresh breads
Mad Good Cookie Company: cookies and coffee cakes
Union Square Donuts: gourmet donuts (starting in July)
Q's Nuts:sweet and savory roasted nuts
Mangé: fresh fruit vinegars
Stow Greenhouses: fresh cut flowers
Seta's Mediterranean Food: prepared Mediterranean food

Sunday Vendors:
Wolf Meadow Farm: traditional Italian cheese
Stillman Quality Meats:pasture-raised meats and poultry
Stillman's Farm:fresh produce and eggs
Silverbrook Farm: produce, eggs, honey and jams
Q's Nuts: sweet and savory roasted nuts
Stow Greenhouses: fresh cut flowers
Mangé:fresh fruit vinegars
Union Square Donuts: gourmet donuts (starting in July)
Doves and Figs: jams, chutneys and fruit mustards
Seta's Mediterranean Food: prepared Mediterranean food
When Pigs Fly Bakery:fresh breads
Mad Good Cookie Company: cookies and coffee cakes

Seeking an Assistant Manager to join our team!

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Job description: Assistant Market Manager
The Boston Public Market Association ("BPMA") is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission to develop and operate a permanent year-round market in Boston that provides fresh, healthy food to consumers of all income levels and nourishes our community. This Market will be a new, exciting, groundbreaking project for Boston, Massachusetts and New England and will educate the public about food sources, nutrition and preparation. The 28,000 square foot facility will be located in a premier location in the heart of Boston's emerging Market District adjacent to Faneuil Hall.

The Position and Responsibilities:
The Assistant Market Manager will report to the Market Manager and will work closely with him/her on the day-to-day operations of the Boston Public Market. Specific responsibilities will be:

- Serve as a primary link between tenants, BPMA, and the general public
- Oversee year-round, seasonal, and part-time market vendors
- Work with the building operations staff (loading dock managers, janitorial staff, security, etc.) to ensure a clean, safe, and efficient space
- Work as part of a small team to do whatever is necessary to build and operate a successful, world-class market

Qualifications:
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to maintain mutually respectful relationships with a diverse range of people
- Ability to anticipate problems and act quickly and wisely to prevent them from occurring
- Ability to stay calm in stressful environments
- Ability to communicate effectively and professionally in person and in writing Ability to multitask and prioritize
- Highly energetic, positive, flexible, and an excellent team player
- Experience in operations or management, preferably in a grocery or retail setting Interest in local agriculture and food a plus

The successful candidate must be willing to work with the team during the organization's transition from developer to operator to help define the position and fill additional needs as they arise. The Assistant Market Manager will split his/her time between the Market floor and BPM's nearby offices and should be comfortable working on his or her feet. This role will require regular evening and weekend hours. Exact hours will be determined.

Please submit qualifications and cover letter with salary requirements to hr@bostonpublicmarket.org. The Boston Public Market is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from members of minority groups.

2015 Farmers Market Season Begins!

Dewey Square Farmers Market Returns, Bringing Fresh Local Food to the Greenway

Popular Seasonal Market Returns to Dewey Square on Tuesdays and Thursdays

BOSTON -- The Boston Public Market's farmers market in Dewey Square returns for the season today, bringing fresh local food to residents, workers, and visitors on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The market offers farm fresh produce; meat, poultry, and eggs; milk and cheese; fish; bread and baked goods; flowers; and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods from more than a dozen local farmers, fishermen, and food producers.

"We're excited to be starting the season again, especially in Dewey Square," said Marie Hills, co-owner of Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell, MA. "Even though it's been a cold spring, our greenhouses are full of wonderful produce that we cannot wait to start picking and delivering to the people of Boston."

The Dewey Square Farmers Market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway across from South Station. It has operated seasonally from mid-May through November for over eight years.

"Our seasonal farmers markets bring rural farmers and urban families together to share in their love of food," said Elizabeth Morningstar, CEO of the Boston Public Market. "It's great to be back on the Greenway this season."

"We're delighted to continue our partnership with the Boston Public Market," said Jesse Brackenbury, Executive Director for the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. "The market perfectly complements The Greenway's organic gardens, food trucks, and public art."

In July, the permanent, year-round Boston Public Market will open above Haymarket MBTA station, housing over 30 permanent, year-round vendors selling locally produced items such as farm fresh produce; meat, poultry, and eggs; milk and cheese; fish and shellfish; bread and baked goods; flowers; and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods.

The Boston Public Market will be the only locally-sourced market of its kind in the United States. Everything sold at the Market will be produced or originate in New England. The Boston Public Market's seasonal markets will continue to operate on the Greenway once the permanent Market opens.

2015 Dewey Square Vendor Lineup:

Tuesday Vendors:
When Pigs Fly Bakery: fresh breads
Chica de Gallo: salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips
Red Fire Farm: organic fruits, vegetables and plants
Swissbakers: baked goods and breads
Union Square Donuts: gourmet donuts
Lawton's Family Farm: cheese, beef and eggs
Valicenti Pasta Farm: fresh pastas, ravioli and sauces
Kimball Fruit Farm: fruits, vegetables and plants
Lilac Hedge: pasture raised meats and eggs
Seasoned and Spiced: prepared vegetarian food
Q's Nuts: sweet and savory roasted nuts
Pain D'Avignon: breads and baked goods
Red's Best: fresh seafood
Freitas Farm: fruits, vegetables and plants
We Grow Microgreens: microgreens
Scoopsies Ice Cream: small-batch ice cream

Thursday Vendors:
Stow Greenhouses: fresh cut flowers
When Pigs Fly Bakery: fresh breads
Boston Smoked Fish Company: smoked fish, spreads and sandwiches
Baking With Joy: tea breads and cookies
Swissbakers: baked goods and breads
Union Square Donuts: gourmet donuts
Jubali Juice: fresh juices and smoothies
Kimball Fruit Farm: fruits, vegetables and plants
Lilac Hedge: pasture raised meats and eggs
Seasoned and Spiced: prepared vegetarian food
Q's Nuts: sweet and savory roasted nuts
Red's Best: fresh seafood
Freitas Farm: fruits, vegetables and plants
Ruggles Hill Creamery: fresh goat cheese
Heaven's Harvest Farm: organic produce and eggs

Seeking Farmers Market Manager

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BOSTON PUBLIC MARKET SEEKING FARMERS MARKET MANAGER FOR 2015 SEASON

The Boston Public Market is now seeking a Farmers Market Manager to oversee operations at it's two outdoor seasonal farmers markets: The Dewey Square Farmers Market and The Greenway Farmers Market. The person hired will be responsible for all aspects of market operations during the 2015 season including but not limited to: managing vendor relationships, coordinating market set-up and break-down each day, assisting with social media and general outreach, operating EBT, general customer service and assisting with special events.

This position is full-time and seasonal. Job description in the link below.

Please send cover letter and resume to: cquinn@bostonpublicmarket.org

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with interviews starting next week.

Farmers Market Manager

Vendor Announcement

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2015

Boston Public Market Announces Initial Round of Vendors for Permanent, Year-Round Local Food Market
30+ Small Businesses to Sell Locally Produced Items Starting in July

BOSTON -- The Boston Public Market today announced the first round of small businesses who will sell locally produced goods in the new permanent, year-round market on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway directly above the Haymarket MBTA station. Starting in July, the 28,000-square-foot Market will house over 30 permanent, year-round vendors selling locally produced items such as farm fresh produce; meat and poultry; milk and cheese; fish and shellfish; bread and baked goods; flowers; and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer Bostonians some of the freshest cheese in New England, literally still in the cow in the form of milk hours before," said Luca Mignogna, co-owner of Wolf Meadow Farm in Amesbury, MA. "We are committed to supporting local Massachusetts and New England dairies, using the oldest traditions of Southern Italian cheesemaking."

"We've been farming in East Boston for two years now and can't wait to start sharing our fresh local greens and herbs with the people of Boston," said Shawn Cooney, co-owner of Corner Stalk Farm, which grows standard and specialty leafy greens and herbs in recycled shipping containers. "The Boston Public market is the perfect place for us to reach as many consumers as possible with the freshest produce in Boston."

The initial vendors announced today include farmers, fisherman, and food producers from Massachusetts and throughout New England. The Boston Public Market will be the only locally-sourced market of its kind in the United States. Everything sold at the Market will be produced or originate in New England.

"The Boston Public Market will showcase the best of what Boston's local economy has to offer," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "These vendors represent the small businesses that fuel our economy, and will serve as a tremendous resource for our residents and visitors in downtown Boston."

"The Boston Public Market will provide individuals with year-round access to locally produced, fresh food," said Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Matthew Beaton. "It is the goal of the Baker-Polito administration and EEA to make fresh produce available to all Commonwealth residents. I am pleased the market will join the ranks of Massachusetts' more than 290 farmers markets, 40 of which are winter farmers markets, and its Community Supported Agriculture farms, farm stands, and pick-your-own operations."

"A year round public market, like BPM, that features farm fresh Massachusetts products will not only strengthen our growing agricultural economy, it will also garner additional consumer demand for nutritious, locally grown and produced food," said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. "Massachusetts is already a leader in direct market sales, ranked 5th in the U.S. Our farmers and food producers not only provide us with the best possible products all year round, they also preserve over 523,000 acres of open space, employee 28,000 workers and generate $492 million dollars for the Massachusetts economy."

Since 2007 Massachusetts' participation in community supported agriculture (CSA) has nearly doubled and agri-tourism sales have grown 127%. While nationally the U.S. witnessed a decline in agriculture from 2007 to 2012, Massachusetts was one of the few states that experienced growth in both number of farms and acres of farmland.

"Our goal is to connect all residents of Boston with the best New England has to offer, and our vendors are at the heart of what we do," said Elizabeth Morningstar, CEO of the Boston Public Market. "These small businesses and food entrepreneurs have incredible experience growing and producing locally, and the multitude of flavors, colors, and stories they bring to the market is simply astounding."

The Market will span the ground floor of 136 Blackstone Street, which also contains the Boston RMV branch, entrances to the Haymarket MBTA station, vent stacks for the Interstate-93 tunnel, and a parking garage. The Market is located in downtown Boston's emerging Market District, next to the Haymarket pushcart vendors and the historic Blackstone Block.

"We're incredibly excited about this first group of vendors," said Tiffani Emig, the Boston Public Market's Market Manager. "Some will be familiar to customers who have shopped at our seasonal markets on the Greenway, and some will be brand new faces. We can't wait for the people of Boston to meet them all."

The Boston Public Market has partnered with several organizations in Boston's growing entrepreneurial food community to help prepare vendors to sell their goods at the market. Several vendors, along with other local small food businesses, participated over the past six months in Interise's award-winning StreetWise 'MBA'™ program aimed at growing jobs and creating more revenue. Vendors also received access to hands-on food production training and shared kitchen facilities at Crop Circle Kitchen's Pearl Food Production Small Business Center.

"I've known for a while that I have to change my business model from wholesale grower to farmer-florist," said Barbara Rietscha, owner of Stow Greenhouses in Stow, MA. "The StreetWise 'MBA'™ program gave me the knowledge - and the courage - to make the change. Hearing about the real life experiences of both the mentors and my classmates has been invaluable."

The Boston Public Market will feature a diverse offering of programs designed to highlight regional culinary traditions and local food production, as well as inspire healthy eating and creative cooking among families and individuals. The Trustees of Reservations is the lead programming partner and will manage and staff a teaching kitchen in the heart of the market, working with other non-profit organizations and for-profit partners to offer exciting classes, demonstrations, and other programs.

"After almost twenty years of planning, we are extremely excited to bring the vision of the Boston Public Market to life," said Kate Stillman, owner of Stillman's Quality Meats in Hardwick, MA. "Our farm is eager to bring our fresh meats and poultry products direct to Boston consumers and we look forward to creating a dynamic and robust marketplace that champions local food and connects consumers direct to Massachusetts farms."

"One of the oldest operating farms in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Silverbrook Farm strives for quality produce, valued employees, and sustainable agriculture," said Andrew Pollock, owner of Silverbrook Farm in Dartmouth, MA. "The practice of farming thrives in the beautiful and unique growing climate of Dartmouth and Westport, and we are thrilled to represent the South Coast of Massachusetts at the Boston Public Market."

The initial round of vendors is listed below, and further information about each vendor can be found on the website. Additional vendors will be announced over the coming months.

American Stonecraft (Lowell, MA)
Natural fieldstone tableware handmade from freshly-tilled stones from working New England farms.

Appleton Farms (Ipswich, MA)
Delicious dairy products from Appleton Farms and the Massachusetts Cheese Guild's 20+ farms and cheesemakers as well as some of New England's best artisanal specialty foods.

Boston Honey Company (Holliston, MA)
Raw unfiltered honey, bee pollen, comb honey, beeswax candles, and skin care products.

Cellars at Jasper Hill (Greensboro Bend, VT)
Single-herd sourced cheeses, cave-aged in our cellars, along with prepared items such as grilled cheeses, raclette, mac n' cheese, custom cheese plates, and Vermont-made accoutrements.

Corner Stalk Farm (East Boston, MA)
Standard and specialty leafy greens and herbs grown in recycled shipping containers in East Boston.

Crescent Ridge (Sharon, MA)
Award-winning ice cream and fresh glass bottled milk.

Daniele (Pascoag, RI)
Crafted from hogs raised on New England family farms, our charcuterie is ready to enjoy in antipastos, soups, salads and panninis.

Inna's Kitchen (Newton Centre, MA)
Prepared foods featuring cuisines of the Middle-East, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and American Jewish delis.

Lilac Hedge Farm (Berlin, MA)
Fresh and frozen cuts of our own beef, pork, lamb, and poultry as well as cured meats, prepared meals and rotisserie chicken.

Mangé (Somerville, MA)
Exotic and aromatic fresh fruit vinegars.

Massachusetts Farm Winery and Growers (Westport, MA)
A wide selection of local award-winning red, white, sparkling and fruit wines, as well as hard ciders.

Mother Juice (Cambridge, MA)
Cold pressed juices, smoothies and plant based foods. All organic and as local as possible.

Peterman's Boards & Bowls (Gill, MA)
Bowls, serving boards and trays, salad tossers, bottle stoppers, and napkin rings made from discarded or fallen trees from New England towns.

Q's Nuts (Somerville, MA)
Sweet, savory and spicy roasts in over six varieties of nuts. Vegan, gluten, soy and dairy free.

Red Apple Farm (Phillipston, MA)
Fresh-from-the-farm fruit, 100% natural cider and all your favorite apple farm treats.

Silverbrook Farm (Dartmouth, MA)
A wide range of farm-fresh products including vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, honey, herbs flowers, eggs, jams, mustards and pickles.

Stillman Quality Meats (Hardwick, MA)
Our farm is a full scale butcher shop- featuring a variety of fresh meat and poultry cuts, hand made sausages, smoked and charcuterie items, artisan sandwiches, pantry and ready to eat selections- direct from our farm.

Stillman's Farm (New Braintree, MA)
The freshest, most amazing, conscientiously grown produce and plants.

Stow Greenhouses (Stow, MA)
Over 50 varieties of beautiful artisan flowers, we cut the best of what is blooming each day and bring it from our farm to your vase.

Sweet Lydia's (Lowell, MA)
Handcrafted confections including gourmet marshmallows, chocolate salted caramels, toffee, candy bars and s'mores.

Taza Chocolate (Somerville, MA)
Stone ground organic chocolate.

The Boston Smoked Fish Company (Sudbury, MA)
Hand-selected smoked seafood produced using sustainably harvested fish, locally sourced ingredients, and all-natural preparation.

Wolf Meadow Farm (Amesbury, MA)
Traditional southern Italian cheese made by hand using the freshest milk available daily.

Contact: Andrew Farnitano, Crawford Strategies
(857) 753-4132
andrew@crawfordstrategies.com

Vendor Application for The Greenway Farmers Market

Since 2010, the Boston Public Market Association has operated two of the most popular seasonal farmers markets in downtown Boston.

This summer, the Boston Public Market, a permanent year-round market, will open it's doors to the public at 136 Blackstone Street. From the very beginning of our visioning process, we have imagined a vibrant seasonal farmers market located outside the market hall on the plaza. This outdoor market will be one of the many ways we seek to utilize the plaza, along with programming and seating made available to the public. photo-10.JPG

We are looking for amazing local food vendors to join our team this season and help us kickoff the opening of the Boston Public Market! Our seasonal farmers markets will run Sundays & Wednesdays from May-November. Please note that electricity will not be available. Applications due by April 20th.

Any questions or comments can be sent to Cailla.

2015 Greenway Application.pdf

Checking in on Construction at The Boston Public Market

Our construction crew, Lee Kennedy Co., has been busy at work, transforming the inside of our market building on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway directly above the Haymarket MBTA station.

To tell you more about our construction progress, we're turning it over to our Superintendent, Heath Dinsmore and Project Manager, Marisa Somers to explain:

Almost five months into construction, we've finished a lot of the basic infrastructure of the market, and the interior is starting to look more like how it will look once it's open.

The focus of the first couple months was building the floor of the market. We started by installing a full drainage system on the existing structural slab. Over this, we placed a layer of structural foam and then a topping concrete slab, which forms the floor of the market that customers will walk on.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 1.01.23 PM.png The main market hall. Here you can see the infrastructure of all the pylons that will provide water, electricity and drainage to each vendor stall.

Over the last month, we've been working on the mechanical systems that will heat and cool the market and feed electricity and plumbing to the individual stalls where market vendors will sell their goods. This means work on the overhead mechanicals that run along the ceiling of the market, including HVAC ducts and fire protection.

hvac.png HVAC ducts waiting for installation.

Individual vendor stalls will receive water, electricity and drainage through pylons, which we've been installing over the last month. It's intricate work that's made more complicated because we're working in a building where we need to coordinate with the systems that are currently feeding the upper floors of the building.

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One of the built-out pylons with laminate cladding.

Through the end of the month, we'll be working on overhead mechanicals and pylons, and our next steps include installing the laminate cladding that surrounds the pylons, and framing the exterior walls of the market. After that, we'll start building the structure of the vendor stalls out from the pylons, and you'll really be able to see the market take shape.

We can't wait until it's finished and vendors start moving in.

Partnership with New England Forestry Foundation

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The Boston Public Market and the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) today announced a partnership to conduct public education and showcase locally harvested wood inside the new permanent, year-round market opening this summer on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway directly above the Haymarket MBTA station. The 28,000-square-foot Market will house over 40 permanent, year-round vendors selling locally produced items such as farm fresh produce; meat and poultry; cheese; fish and shellfish; bread and baked goods; flowers; and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods.

"The Boston Public Market will be the only locally-sourced market of its kind in the United States, and we're dedicated to featuring the best New England has to offer," said Elizabeth Morningstar, CEO of the Boston Public Market. "We're delighted to have the help of NEFF in showcasing sustainable, locally harvested wood in the Boston Public Market."

NEFF is working with their network of New England forest product companies, environmental organizations, individual woodworkers, and forest gatherers to identify sources of locally harvested wood to be used for architectural elements in the Boston Public Market. Boston Public Market vendors will also be offered opportunities to purchase locally harvested wood for signs, butcher boards, bowls, and other furnishings in their vendor stalls. NEFF will offer programming in the Boston Public Market Kitchen that showcases edible products from New England's forests, such as maple syrup and mushrooms.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to showcase New England's sustainable forests, stunning wood products and the people who own, manage and work our region's woodlands," said Robert Perschel, Executive Director for NEFF.

The Market will span the ground floor of 136 Blackstone Street, which also contains the Boston RMV branch, entrances to the Haymarket MBTA station, vent stacks for the Interstate-93 tunnel, and a parking garage. The Market is located in downtown Boston's emerging Market District, next to the Haymarket pushcart vendors and the historic Blackstone Block. The architect for the project is Architerra, a Boston-based design firm, and construction is being done by Lee Kennedy Company.

Dewey Square Farmers Market Application

The Dewey Square Farmers Market, located across from South Station, is a bustling and vibrant market that has featured some of New England's best local food producers for over 8 years! If you are interested in becoming a vendor, please apply.

Applications are due March 30th and all applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by April 8th.

2015 Dewey Square Application.pdf

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Boston Globe Article - 3/12/15

Learning the Business of Food

By Sarah Shemkus
GLOBE CORRESPONDENT

13foodmba2.jpg Liam Madden, right, founder of the juice and tea maker Jubali, described his ideal client as Johnny Charles of Interise listened. Photograph by Michele McDonald.

MARCH 12, 2015 Veronica Janssens, co-owner of Batch Ice Cream in the South End, has been in the frozen confection business for about five years. But in between formulating flavors and churning out pints, it can be hard to find time to scrutinize financial statements or plot a course for growth.

So, Janssens said, she decided she needed a plan for "running a business in a grown-up sort of way."

The solution she found was a food-focused business course offered by Interise, a Boston nonprofit that promotes small business and economic development. The 15-week class, part of Interise's StreetWise MBA program, aims to support the growing number of food startups that have popped up in city neighborhoods and rural towns, spurring investment and creating jobs.

With the local food trend showing no sign of slowing, Interise teamed up with the Jamaica Plain food incubator CropCircle Kitchen and Boston Public Market, the year-round local food market that is expected to open near the Haymarket MBTA station this summer.

Liz Morningstar, chief executive of Boston Public Market, said the course is part of her organization's mission to boost homegrown foodie businesses. But, she added, "It's also smart business. We necessarily want a stronger pipeline of companies."

The class, which is free, includes 15 owners from 10 companies that sell everything from herbal infusion drinks to decadent doughnuts. (The group also includes a flower grower who sells at farmers markets.) Some, like Union Square Donuts and Q's Nuts, both based in Somerville, have already gained buzz for products such as maple bacon donuts and Mexican chocolate almonds.

Others are still planning their official launches.

All want to find ways for their businesses to grow.

On a recent Monday night, the group met at Interise's offices to polish their elevator pitches to potential buyers, talk about targeting their ideal customers, and trade tips about promoting themselves on social media. For the first seven weeks, the curriculum focused on keeping, reading, and analyzing financial statements; the remaining eight weeks will cover marketing, sales, human resources, and strategic planning.

At the end of the course, the students will have created a three-year business plan. Already, the work they have done has changed the direction of one business. Barbara Rietscha, owner of the flower-growing operation Stow Greenhouses in Stow, has decided that positioning her company as a farm and florist, moving away from its identity as a wholesaler, is the best plan for expanding her business.

She had been considering the change for some time; assessing her financials for class convinced her to accelerate her plans.

As class proceeded this week, product samples -- pouches of flavored almonds, plastic tubes of wrapped caramels, boxes of frozen ravioli -- littered the tables in the classroom. Business lingo like "end user" (aka customer) and "margin" (the difference between cost and price for each item sold) shared conversational space with talk of flavor combinations and cheesemaking techniques.

13foodmba8[1].jpg Josh Danoff of Somerville's Union Square Donuts at a class for Boston Public Market food vendors. Photograph by Michele McDonald.

These conversations are one of the key benefits of the class, said Christina Barbieri, co-owner of the Amesbury cheesemaker Wolf Meadow Farms. Though she has a business degree, Barbieri has discovered that the food industry offers very specific and unexpected challenges, such as working out the logistics of obtaining ingredients from local sources.

"It's so different from anything you learn in a textbook," she said. "We've been learning so much from other people."

Interise is watching the dynamic among the food entrepreneurs closely, said Johnny Charles, the organization's Boston program manager. StreetWise MBA is a national program; more than 2,000 entrepreneurs in 36 communities have participated. In the past, classes have generally included a mix of businesses specifically chosen so that the students don't find themselves trading tips with their competition, Charles said.

The food class, therefore, is something of an experiment by focusing on a single industry, he said. It will help Interise find new approaches to serving a range of small companies.

"Are there different ways we can think of supporting different businesses in different industries?" he asked. "There's still some learning to be done."

The goal for many of the students is to secure a slot at Boston Public Market when it opens in a few months. The final line-up of vendors -- there will be about 42 to start -- has not been announced, but is likely to include some of the class participants, Morningstar said.

Regardless, she said, the public market is eager to support even those businesses that don't end up as vendors, because they will help to expand the food scene in Boston. That ultimately benefits the public market, the companies, and their customers, she said.

For entrepreneurs like Janssens, the importance of the class is more straightforward: It encourages her to focus on the business aspects of her ice cream company.

"The class makes you step back," Janssens said. "You have to answer the hard questions you sometimes try to ignore."

Sarah Shemkus can reached at seshemkus@gmail.com.

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