Photos and graphic courtesy of MADE in Long Beach.
After seven months on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach, MADE in Long Beach, the storefront providing space for up-and-coming artisans, vendors, and retail concepts, is preparing to launch its newest project: Market at MADE.
The market will be an expansion of MADE in Long Beach, a project that began as a local incubator with a goal, in the most general of senses, to foster the growth of local businesses in Long Beach.
Seeking to outfit the building with the necessary refrigerators, display installations and more for marketing and distributing food, the organizers are using a crowdfunding strategy to help fund the project. They are currently 37 percent toward their goal of $75,000, with $27,550 raised thus far.
“We already sell food from local makers,” said DW Ferrell, executive director of Localism, Inc. and founder of MADE in Long Beach. “Localism and LB Fresh have teamed up to push the local food movement to the next level.”
Ferrell said the market concept has involved nurturing MADE’s relationships with over 100 local makers and merchandise representatives and working with local and state health departments to provide an official space.
Sitting at 236 Pine Avenue, the 12,500 square foot MADE has already made a name for itself in Long Beach for its provision of trendy events and diverse array of local vendors, selling everything from sunglasses to soaps, leather goods and the occasional pie from The Pie Bar or coffee from Rose Park Roasters.
The current setup only utilizes a third of the store’s space, according to Ferrell. He said they saw the current moment as the perfect time to grow into a space that supports a large number of local food producers. MADE currently has products from over 100 artisans and entrepreneurs, and another 25-30 local food makers and farmers will be tapped to participate in the new market. Ferrell said the marketplace has a growing waitlist of around 200 additional vendors.
Down the road, MADE’s “stretch goal” is to obtain the proper licensing to sell locally-produced craft beer, after the organization raises funding for the market. Ferrell said he foresees “only growlers” in the MADE in Long Beach facility, and is excited at the prospect of growth.
Ferrell said none of this could have happened without the passage of numerous food production-friendly legislation, including the California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616) in 2012, the cottage food law for California, and the Neighborhood Food Act (AB 2561) in 2014.
The Homemade Food Act for California, or “cottage food law,” went into effect on January 1, 2013.
“It's so wonderful to see more retailers embracing the Homemade Food Act and making a point to sell small-batch, locally made, artisan food products,” said Christina Oatfield, policy director for the Sustainable Economies Law Center. “Numerous studies have shown the positive economic impacts of supporting local small businesses. Cottage food operators greatly benefit from unique retail outlets like MADE purchasing cottage food products.”
Ultimately, the market will just be a part of the overall goal of MADE, which is to promote localism in the Long Beach community, creating more opportunities for more entrepreneurs as Long Beach builds its own sustainable economy.
“The two questions of Localism are, number one, is it local?” said Ferrell. “And number two, does it create opportunity for others?"
MADE in Long Beach located at 236 Pine Ave.