Innovative Seattle program, MarketShare, has been successfully working to help immigrants and refugees succeed in the city’s food industry and open their own mobile food businesses. Founder Philip Deng first conceptualized the idea for MarketShare after spending several years abroad living and working in China. Seeing how the Chinese street food markets operated by offering not just food but also a sense of community to each city, Deng sought to bring this concept to Seattle.
Yet Deng didn’t stop there and in addition to bringing Seattle a street food market concept, he simultaneously sought to help out the city’s immigrant population by offering them a road to open and operate their own mobile food businesses. Through developing MarketShare, Deng has been able to offer Seattle’s immigrant community a mentorship program that guides hopeful restaurant owners through food processing certifications and licensing as well as offers practical training through catering events.
MarketShare also provides the chefs a location in which to initially begin operating out of and once successful, each chef is given the ability to earn their own equipment and make enough money to eventually open their own food truck or brick and mortar restaurant. If successful, each candidate would work to pay MarketShare back for the tools and equipment, but if not MarketShare takes the loss.
The first two candidates, Jackie Nikirote and Rosario Carver, have completed the program and are now set to launch their business concepts this year, with Carver planning to feature a menu of classic Filipino food and Nikirote preparing Kenyan family style meals.
What impact do you think MarketShare will have on Seattle’s culinary scene? Read More