San Francisco plans female-led food hall in old Tenderloin post office

Residents of San Francisco's Tenderloin District will soon have new options for healthy food. The city plans to convert a vacant post office into a female-led food hall. 

The plans for 101 Hyde Street, at the corner of Golden Gate Avenue, are to provide entrepreneurial opportunities, while providing food and jobs to the community. 

For Gino Stevens, a long-time Tenderloin resident, turning this old post office into a semi-permanent food hall is a good idea.

"I honestly think it would be good for the community for the poor that needs a little food, needs a little help It would be  good thing to give back to the community," Stevens said. 

For Tenderloin residents like Stevens, healthy food options have rarely been on the menu. 

Now with help from the mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development, the building will be leased to La Cocina, a non-profit that supports and trains women and minority business owners. 

"We are going to gut it and then renovate it to create seven kiosks in here and then one more pop up space so eight vendors in the space," said Linda Esposito, the director of municipal market management. 

The building had handled mail since the 1970s will now be delivering healthy food choices and options by spring 2019. 

The city is leasing the space below market value for seven years and then plans to build affordable housing in the space for the homeless. 

"Affordable dishes and healthy food options. That's something the Tenderlion has been asking for some time and we're very happy La Cocina is able to provide it to us," said Joaquin Torres, the director at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. 

"It is a place where our La Cocina entrepreneurs, all low-income, mostly women of color can actually afford to run a business," Esposito said. 

It will be similar to 'The Hall' another temporary food project that was built in an empty store front on Market Street. 

The city is kicking in $1.5 million and La Cocina is looking to raise another $5 million to open by next spring.