King Street Market

 
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King Street Market will make a career in the food industry accessible to under-resourced immigrant entrepreneurs by connecting their global culinary talents to business incubation services and hungry Seattle diners. 

 
 

It's the perfect idea for a sanctuary city that marches on its stomach.
Knute Berger — Crosscut.com

 
 
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Shared Opportunity

MarketShare envisions a low-barrier food business startup model for immigrant and refugee cooks revitalizing culinary careers left behind in native countries. The market would feature 8 to 10 food stalls. Each stall represents an opportunity for a low-income immigrant or refugee entrepreneur to start a small restaurant for less than $10,000, which is half of what MarketShare spent to launch our mobile food stand in our pilot phase. After a 2-3 year incubation period, sustainable businesses will launch from the market to allow new entrepreneurs to benefit from the space. King Street Station's central location, beautiful construction, vibrant adjacent neighborhoods and civic aura make it the perfect place for these entrepreneurs to flourish.

 

 

Cultural Touchstone

King County is home to more than 400,000 immigrants and refugees who come from more than 100 countries and speak more than 170 languages. Such diversity presents an opportunity for people and cultures to connect through the universal language of food. A delicious meal brings everyone to the table where important community conversations can begin. King Street Market can be a living symbol of a community's commitment to racial and social diversity, inclusivity, and equity. 

 

King Street Station

For one hundred and ten years, King Street Station has stood in the heart of downtown Seattle where it has served as a central transportation hub and historic landmark. Today, the recently renovated second floor of the train station stands vacant and ready to become a cultural epicenter celebrating the richness and diversity of our community. Owned by the City of Seattle a process is underway at City Hall to determine how best to utilize the empty space so that it 1) preserves the historic nature of the building, 2) provides a permanent space for the promotion of arts and culture, and, 3) looking through the lens of race and social justice, creates new economic opportunities for people who need them. Studies have shown that roughly 384,000 people move through the area around King Street Station each day, making it the ideal location for such a spectacular multicultural dining and entertainment destination.

For one hundred and ten years, King Street Station has stood in the heart of downtown Seattle where it has served as a central transportation hub and historic landmark.

Today, the recently renovated second floor of the train station stands vacant and ready to become a cultural epicenter celebrating the richness and diversity of our community.

Owned by the City of Seattle a process is underway at City Hall to determine how best to utilize the empty space so that it 1) preserves the historic nature of the building, 2) provides a permanent space for the promotion of arts and culture, and, 3) looking through the lens of race and social justice, creates new economic opportunities for people who need them.

Studies have shown that roughly 384,000 people move through the area around King Street Station each day, making it the ideal location for such a spectacular multicultural dining and entertainment destination.

 
 
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It takes a community, an entire community, to build a market

This community has all the key ingredients for a beautiful public market at King Street Station, from the cultures, to the space, to the civic aspirations of a world-class city. The recipe for creating a truly public market begins with organizing from the grassroots. MarketShare has identified other leading nonprofit organizations with core competencies that include:

  • Real estate and financial negotiation
  • Immigrant and refugee services
  • Entrepreneur recruitment and selection
  • Culinary training
  • Business startup and incubation
  • Race and social justice advancement 

Relying on existing resources and experts to do what they do best is not only more efficient and effective, it also infuses the project with a sense of community, which is the essence of any public space.

Connect with our organization to find out how you can help to build the market.