April 2, 2011 was a memorable day for Downtown San Jose in general, but in particular for San Pedro Square. I would like to thank Mike and Marie Millares of The Usuals, founders of SJ MADE, and Ryan Sebastian of Treatbot, founder of SJ Eats, for bringing over 10,000 people to San Pedro Square Square for a day of food and retail exploration centered on our hidden gem, the soon-to-be-completed San Pedro Square Market. Although the food truck lines were over an hour long, SJ EATS is working to make the necessary adjustments to make the next event an even bigger success.
The success of the events made me think of ways we could incorporate some current food trends affecting the industry into our Market. After reading through the most recent reports of trend guru Andrew Freeman, I centered in on three concepts: Pies, "Mom and Pop shops," and single purpose restaurants.
In the last few years, the cupcake trend was the foundation for countless small businesses, cake pops are now sold in Starbucks, and now we are seeing the emergence of a new item: pies. These are not necessarily the huge pies that can be found at Marie Callender's, but innovative takes on the pie concept. Pies of the savory and sweet varieties are getting smaller and more portable. Have a look at the video below:
With the economy slowly but surely making a come back, "Mom and Pop" businesses have been experiencing a revival. In the restaurant market, smaller seems to be better. People are making more efficient use of smaller spaces to maximize sales and minimize costs. Contemporary entrepreneurs are utilizing smaller spaces, while retaining the same standards of quality as their larger competitors. Our Market project takes this trend even further, offering spaces as small as 200 square feet.
The third emerging trend is the rise in single-purpose restaurants. One of the major factors "driving" this trend is the food truck movement. The trucks’ limited menus are drawing an educated brand of customer craving simple, unfussy street food. Food trucks aren't alone in developing this customer base. When San Pedro Square Market opens later this year, it will be full of these type of establishmens.