Locals stop by the Trinity Market each Saturday to walk the grounds with family and furry friends, check out the freshly prepared beverages and bites prepared by small businesses, and a growing number of market-goers are showing up with reusable bags in hand to shop for their weekly produce.
Hundreds of area residents and students stopped by the market on Saturday, May 7, the first event to feature the new partnership between the market and Break Fast & Launch, the nation’s first culinary business accelerator located in San Antonio.
More than two dozen vendors – and several Break Fast graduates – set up shop, offering everything from hot sauce and iced coffee to fresh vegetables and baked goods.
“Our focus is not only to promote fresh and locally sourced produce and other items to choose from, but also to support entrepreneurs who want to make prepared foods with locally sourced ingredients,” said Trinity Market Manager Hayley Sayrs, a senior with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science, and a passion for entrepreneurship.
People are often intimidated by the gap between the produce seen in supermarkets and produce that is grown in local and community gardens, Sayrs said. The market provides education and wellness resources for the entrepreneurial community, Trinity students, and the larger San Antonio community.
“I think you have to have that educational piece integrated,” she said, adding that Break Fast brings that business approach to the market. “They kind of set the example for other vendors who might be a little more old school, not as versed on social media stuff.”
Since the farmer’s market opened seven weeks ago, the community’s response has been overwhelmingly positive. But the new partnership promises to attract new crowds. The partnership is showing a small but significant cultural shift in San Antonio – people are venturing outside their usual spaces for fresh quality foods and new educational resources.
“This is a collaboration to take these early culinary entrepreneurs and providing them with an avenue to really sell and learn as a group under a curated circumstance and test their concepts for the real market,” said Break Fast & Launch Director Ryan Salts. “Together, we’re providing them with an avenue to test their products before they head out into the real world.”
Shoppers sat down as Break Fast & Launch vendors including Cocina Heritage, Le Sucre Catering, Texas Black Gold Garlic, and Revolucion Juice + Coffee presented educational food demos and offered free samples of their products.
“5 Points Local makes a black garlic caramel sauce, but we always make it with popcorn,” said Chef Stephen Paprocki, founder of Texas Black Gold Garlic, who shared Black Gold Garlic popcorn balls – made with caramel and liquid nitrogen – with willing taste testers.
Brave market-goers threw the small popcorn ball into their mouths and waited five seconds as instructed, before they began to chew.
“I’ve never seen this at a farmer’s market before,” Sayrs said, as several onlookers nodded their heads in agreement.
“It’s pretty unique,” said Claire Burrus, a Trinity sophomore and the president of university’s Fit Health Club. “But I love seeing other students able to bring the community out here. It’s cool to be part of something like this.”
The market also offers free activities, games, and occasional group fitness classes, but event organizers expect those to become a bigger feature as the market grows in popularity.
“This is making everything more accessible – fresh foods, a business mentality and resources– this could be the beginning of something really great,” Salts said.
The Trinity Market, found on the university’s campus between Hildebrand Avenue and Coates Library, takes place each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information about vendors or coming events, click here.
Top image: Market attendees browse 9-1 Family Produce Farm’s selection of fresh vegetables at the Trinity Farmer’s Market. Photo by Lea Thompson.