San Diego Public Market Seeks Permanence
(Originally published in the San Diego Reader March 6, 2013.)
Every Wednesday and Sunday morning, Saida Soto and three co-workers spend an hour setting up their two booths at the San Diego Public Market on National Avenue in Barrio Logan. They lug their two griddles, a tortilla warmer, two hot plates, a five-gallon jug of water, and all the tamales, tortillas, eggs, cheese, and vegetables they can sell in a day to the market. And every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon, the four of them spend another hour packing up their gear and returning it to the New Mexico Café around the corner.
Soto has her fingers crossed that in the next few months she’ll have a permanent booth in the market, and the hauling and heavy lifting will no longer be necessary.
Catt White, co-founder (with Dale Steele) of the market, which currently operates on Wednesdays and Sundays only, says she’s shooting for a June 20 opening of the permanent market she’s been planning all along. And although she’s hesitant to guarantee that date, she does promise that the process is in motion.
“It’s kind of an enormous construction project,” she tells me one Wednesday afternoon. We’re sitting at a table outside the market, and her brief hurried answers make it clear that she’s a busy woman with not a lot of time to chat.
“There are parts that we do, where we stub in electric and plumbing and such to the individual spaces. And then when the tenants come in, they get to design their spaces, and then there’s the improvement construction.”