The Underground Market was founded in December 2009 as an incubator space  for start-up food entrepreneurs to get their products to the public without the cost and delay of the myriad of regulations that have arisen around food production. It ran for several years, with average attendance in the thousands, and 50-100 vendors participating per event. Over 400 vendors sold at The Market, it spawned similar events around the world and launched dozens of businesses, both restaurants and artisan food makers.

One of our aims was to prove that homemade food is not dangerous food. That what matters more than health inspectors and stainless steel countertops is the care of the producer, and their connection to the people eating their product. We had over 50,000 people walk through our doors, without one reported case of sickness to the health department, we think we proved our point.

Unfortunately, in 2012, following a front page NYTimes piece, the market was forced to close with a cease and desist letter from the city. 

The last Underground Market was held on December 22nd, 2012. Thank you to everyone who helped make it what it was, but it's over. The market was a great event for a certain time and place. I'm incredibly thankful that people responded as well as they did to the idea, and incredibly proud of all the food makers who came out and made it a success with their hard work and creativity. 

If you want to hear more of our thoughts on this, check out the blog post: click here

For some press on the market, check our our  NYTimes piece: click here

Iso Rabins

founder: forageSF