Lamba Royal Indian Food

Bringing Mumbai to your Market

I am so excited to tell everyone about Lamba’s Royal Indian Food because they are an amazing family and business! It was the most fun interview of the summer, and that’s saying something with all of HOPE’s great vendors!

Garrima and her husband met stateside though both are originally from India. They first lived in California, then in Houston before settling in their current home here in Austin (it took them awhile to find the best city in America). As a young adult Garrima studied history, then attended medical school in India. Afterwards, she started working in the hotel industry, followed by Estee Lauder. A Jill of all trades! So, how does a history buff who is also a medically trained businesswoman enter into the food business?

Well… it started with a dream Gurpreet Lamba – Garrima’s husband – had for his family.

It was Gurpreet who really encouraged Garrima that she could have a great business making and selling home-style Indian food to hungry Austinites. Even with all of Austin’s world famous eateries, food trucks, and restaurants, Gurpreet noticed that ATX was missing something: domestic-style Indian deliciousness.

Because of her husband’s confidence and encouragement, Garrima bravely stepped into uncharted territory and began building recipes. Garrima says they use a lot of recipes from her grandmother, but that Gurpreet and her father-in-law are excellent cooks as well. She noted that no one in the family ever had any professional cooking training, but that it’s a “passion that comes from within, you can’t really teach that.” The Lamba’s don’t use any books or formal templates. In fact, they never measure their seasonings in teaspoons. They measure via tastebud! See, for me, that’s pretty impressive because I have to read instructions when pouring cereal!

Garrima was so kind as to make a typical Indian meal for me at her home and y’all… it was delish. I’m not sure how she has time to make such great food and raise three boys at the same time! Luckily, the boys are extremely sweet, but still, that’s skill my friend. Thankfully, she has her father-in-law and husband to help out with the cooking.

And they are cooking! Lamba’s first market was ours, the HOPE Farmer’s Market, but now they attend over 10 markets, including all of the Austin markets! Garrima says she loves doing markets because she loves to see her customer’s face light up.

“Seeing people like your food makes you want to cook more and more food for them!”

I’ve tasted quite a lot of Lamba’s food and it’s always awesome. It’s not the same as restaurant Indian food. It feels and tastes much more authentic and homemade… because it is! They offer lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options so all of your diet needs can be met. Health-wise, Indian spices are famous for their anti-inflammatory and metabolism-boosting properties, so you know you’re getting an extra bang for your buck with Lamba’s Indian.

In the end, these guys are really some of the sweetest people I’ve met and that shows through in their food. So if you want to get a taste for yourself, be sure to check them out at the HOPE Farmer’s Market from 11:00 – 3:00 every Sunday or at any other Austin market!

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I have one half lab, half sharpie mix dog named Lucy!

Clementine & Co. Jewelry: Simplicity at its Finest

Meet Emily: The Brains and Beauty behind Clementine & Co. Jewelry

Emily is – first are foremost – an artist. With a writer and a carpenter as parents, artistry has been a part of her life since she was a kid. Her childhood memories are full of creation. For example, she remembers her mother taking her to a bead shop on Martha’s Vineyard where she grew up and they spent hours making their own bead creations.

Although Emily was initially more interested in drawing (particularly illustrating children’s books), she gradually found that her passion was in jewelry and metalwork. She enrolled in a botanical themed class at the Penland School of Crafts, which really solidified her talent and passion for jewelry. From there, she started selling her creations at markets on Martha’s Vineyard.

But, you know, no one can resist that Austin charm, right?

So, after a road trip to Austin with her sister, Emily fell in love with the place (like so many do). In 2011, she was able to move to Austin permanently and is currently a proud East Austinite.

“I love where I live because there are so many people who are both creative and motivated. It’s rare to find so many people with both qualities in a community!”

Of course, Clementine & Co. came to Austin with Emily. Lucky for us!

As far as the actual products go, I really do love her designs. They are clean and simple. Timeless. Each piece is handmade by Emily, so each piece is unique to itself. Style-wise there are a lot of natural elements to the jewelry: leaves, feathers, and even seeds are common elements. All the silver is recycled and Emily tries to find suppliers that are ethical and restrict chemical usage. So, basically, once again, your products from the Market are going to be a lot better for you than others!

You guys should definitely take a look at her stuff. It’s beautiful and it really will last the rest of your life, which is a lot more than you can say for the usual Forever 21 or Target buys we all make!

If you want to see and hear more about Emily’s work, check out the links below OR just come see her at the HOPE Farmer’s Market every Sunday from 11:00 – 3:00 at Plaza Saltillo!

Website                                               Facebook                                                         Twitter

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

One time, I zip lined through the rainforest in Costa Rica. It was pretty great.

The Peached Tortilla: Tacos, baby, tacos!

Meet the Man Behind the Peach: Eric Silverstein

The Peached Tortilla food truck is renowned for its eclectic twist on your everyday taco. With a distinct Asian influence and a down south foundation, these tacos are unique to Austin alone. So what’s the story? How did the fusion sensation that is Peached Tortilla all start?

Well, it started with Eric.

Eric Silverstien is a direct reflection of the business he created. Born and raised in Tokyo, moving and maturing in Atlanta, and studying in St. Louis, Eric himself is a blend of cultures. It’s his personality playing out on the Peached Tortilla Menu. Take the Banh Mi slider, for example. It’s a Vietnamese braised pork belly with pickled daikon carrot, sriracha mayo and cilantro. I would never have put pork, sriracha and cilantro together, but this is a magical combo that you have to try!

I was surprised to hear Eric had actually been a litigator before moving to Austin. So, obviously, that begs the question, why abandon magistrates for menus? Courts for chef hats? Trials for tacos?

According to Eric, “I just love food. It’s in my blood.”

I must say, it takes a lot of guts to abandon a “safe” but perhaps personally unsatisfying career to do something you love. So high five to this guy! He wasn’t happy where he was in life, and figured it was about time to turn this dream into a reality.

The dream was actually never the food truck, but to open a restaurant of his own. It’s been four years since Eric came to Austin. And finally, after years of hard work, The Peached Tortilla will have a permanent home.

Prep your tastebuds, people. Because this fall The Peached Tortilla is confined to a truck no more.

The new restaurant will be located at 5520 Burnett Road, Austin TX.

That being said, if you can’t wait till then, visit the links below to find out where The Peached Tortilla will be each week OR just come visit us at the HOPE Farmer’s Market each Sunday from 11:00 – 3:00!

Website                                               Twitter                                                            Facebook

 

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I not-so-secretly want to become a Zumba instructor on the side.

The Healthiest Hounds in ATX

Meet Healthy Hound: Because Markets are for Dogs, too!

Did you know there are more dogs per capita in Austin, than kids? Crazy right! Well maybe not so much… Pups don’t ask you to pay their tuition. They can’t kick and scream in the middle of the grocery aisle. Even during the canine teen years, standard rate of forgiveness is usually about every 5 seconds. Dogs always like our jokes and think all our ideas are awesome – especially ones that involve activities such as eating, sleeping, and walking. So yeah, Austinites love their pups because who doesn’t!

This article is for you, Austin dog owners. I’d like you to meet Healthy Hound: A local kitchen handcrafting all natural and organic, vitamin-rich food for your favorite four-legged friend.

In 2011, co-owner Katherine started to cook food for her greyhound, who was suffering from severe intestinal problems. She couldn’t find the quality of food that she knew her dog needed. And being the awesome human being that she is, took matters into her own hands. After seeing the positive results a change in diet had in her own dog’s life, she knew she’d found a business she could be passionate about.

Healthy Hound is all Austin, all the time. Ingredients are sourced locally, totally natural, with no preservatives, extenders, or additives. They’re on a mission to make your pet healthier. So many store bought brands, even brands suggested by the vet, contain massive amounts of corn and other food-life extenders, which ironically could shorten the life of your pet. These preservatives can be hard to digest and can strain your dog’s system. Most people don’t even realize this, I definitely didn’t, but it makes sense. I mean you are what you eat, right? Why wouldn’t that apply to dogs too? I visited the Healthy Hound kitchen, and for real y’all, it was like they were cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Everything is super fresh. Not going to lie, for a minute there I considered a batch for myself.

Healthy Hound has been a part of the HOPE Farmer’s Market since its business began. Katherine says she likes how “hyper-local” it is. It lets her converse with people and hear their stories. “You also, start to get to know people, because there are so many usual market goers.” The joint focus on local nutrition makes the market a perfect fit. Not to mention, the dogs love it. The smart ones have figured out that if they are stubborn enough, their parents will end up getting them a treat. One time, they even had a little Pomeranian swimming around in their water bowl!

We all want the very best for our dogs, so if you’d like to learn more about Healthy Hound products. Check out their links below, or just come by the HOPE Farmer’s Market any Sunday from 11:00 – 3:00 at Plaza Saltillo!

Website                                               Facebook                                                         Twitter

 

 

Hello!

I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:

I can play the Oboe. Such a marketable skill, I know.

The Story of the Market: Lizzie Garrett

The next blog in our series is from HOPE FM Development Director Lizzie Garrett, whose vision, leadership and personality have gone into making HOPE FM the vibrant market and community it is today. Lizzie is a tenacious community builder whose super-human work ethic, big heart and unique perspective as a designer bring people together around food, music and art. She’s the kind of person I can brainstorm with for hours and end up with a whiteboard full of drawings and ideas so pretty I want to frame them.

Lizzie is getting ready to head off on her next adventure in a couple of weeks and we sure are going to miss her! Luckily she’s done so much for the market that she will always be part of HOPE FM.

Good luck, Lizzie, and THANK YOU for everything you’ve done for our market and community!

– Alexa Senter, HOPE FM Market Director

Lizzie’s story…

In October 2009, I packed up my car and moved from Virginia to Austin. Within a few weeks, I found my way to the brand new HOPE Farmers Market and was immediately inspired and intrigued. I started off volunteering and over the next 3½ years, I wore every hat possible. People often ask me if I ever plan to use my degree (in architecture) again; I use it all the time. I think of the Market as collective urban design – bringing people together to cultivate an innovative and productive community. We (the Market team) curate the process, but each contributor, from farmer to musician, participates in the creation of a vibrant local economy and culture.

The Market began as a placemaking project, turning a funky East Austin warehouse into a weekly food and creativity hub. It was a multi-faceted experiment and over time it took a great deal of energy to keep it going, especially through the summers. There’s a funny (in retrospect) news clip featuring the Market in 2011 – Texas was in a horrible drought and the story pointed out the distinct lack of farmers and shoppers. We were in a bad spot. Some vendors stuck it out because they were incredibly loyal and believed in the project, but it was clear that we had to make some changes. We couldn’t fix the drought; we could give the project the attention it needed, and I took the position as the first full-time Market Director in January 2012.

The first thing to do was prioritize: focus on food. In order to grow, the Market simultaneously needed more vendors and more customers, but without one it was hard to secure the other. People enjoyed the art and live music but didn’t buy groceries; we promoted food-centered education and programming. Others came to shop but were disappointed by the lack of farmers; we created the HOPE Farm Stand. While technically reselling – a controversial practice among local food purists – the Farm Stand increases access to local produce while supporting, without overextending, growers.

By casting a wide net, we actively reached out to engage the larger community. We hosted neighborhood popup markets, set up booths at local festivals, and presented at a series of lunch-n-learns with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As health department liaisons, produce peddlers and community connectors (via relationships with local chefs and organizations like Slow Money and Center 61), we established ourselves as valuable resources to our vendors. Finally, we launched a rebranding campaign and a new website to clearly communicate what the Market is and what it does.

It was an iterative and exhausting process, but the crazy thing was that it started working. Incredibly skilled and dedicated people joined the team at just the right moments, and the Market grew into a full-blown organization. We established an informal business incubation program, attracting innovative new vendors and encouraging cross-collaboration and vendor-to-vendor mentorship. By fall 2012, we were setting sales and attendance records on a regular basis.

As it gained momentum, the Market needed a larger and more accessible space. We looked around and set our sights on the beautiful yet underutilized Plaza Saltillo, eventually securing partnerships with the City of Austin and Cap Metro. The big move in March marked the beginning of a new era for the Market. We now accept SNAP benefits and are diversifying our live music program and vendor base to welcome and serve a larger portion of the East Austin community. There are new opportunities for designers to share their skills, including the Mobile Farm Stand (a prototype of which is currently in production). We’re also continuing to push the limits of what constitutes a “farmers market” as the focus shifts toward making healthy food accessible and relevant to more people, at the intersection of community and culture.

As exciting as this new era promises to be, I will be observing from afar. I take off on my next adventure – a move to San Francisco – in a few weeks. To every colleague, vendor, volunteer and supporter who has been involved in any capacity: thank you. Your contributions and imaginations collectively create this wonderful community that is the HOPE Farmers Market.

Lizzie Garrett
HOPEFM Development Director

 


Next up in The Story of the Market Series: Alexa Senter, HOPEFM Market Director

The Story of the Market: Greg Esparza, Part I

I know we promised last time that the next post would be from founder and previous Market Manager Greg Esparza, but we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to hear his side of the story. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from his feature article in Tribeza in July 2010 (the summer after the Market opened). You can also check out what he’s been up to in recent months on the Moontower website.

Until next time…
Lizzie


Greg in 2010, on the HOPE Farmers Market and sustainability as a community issue:

“The HOPE Farmers Market is a place for the Austin community to come together and celebrate local food, local art, and local non-profit programs. What we’re aiming for is a combination of a neighborhood grocery store and your favorite hangout – someplace that you can weave into your Sunday routine as a one-stop shop for organic, locally produced fruit, veggies, meat, cheese, and prepared food as well as a place to catch-up with friends over coffee, tea, and a variety of hot food options. Beyond what we offer food-wise, our inside art market is a great place to pick up gifts for friends – offering everything from vintage cowboy boots to sustainably re-harvested yarn. Our garden corner offers amazing locally grown orchids and a variety of plants and veggie starts. And we offer free yoga and wellness classes during the Market. The final piece of what we do is providing a space for local non-profits to reach out to our customers and inform them about their work and how to get involved with their programs. This is a really important part of what we do, as the Market itself is a non-profit project started by the H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everywhere) Campaign, an organization that creates avenues for artists and the creative community to contribute their unique talents to support projects that promote sustainability and peace around the world.

For me, sustainability is mostly about awareness, and that’s where places like farmers markets can have a big impact. Perhaps the most important green thing you can do at our market is meeting your farmer. That’s one part of the Market that always gets me excited. Seeing our customers talking to the farmers, ranchers, and food artisans about what they do, where they’re located, how they cultivate their crops, raise their animals, or prepare their products, that’s really what makes the experience of a farmers’ market enjoyable and unique, and it ties right back to this issue of awareness. If you know where your food comes from, how it was grown, and who you’re supporting through your purchases, then you are in a position to use your money to support a local, sustainable food system rather than agricultural practices that utilize harmful chemicals and release large quantities of greenhouse gases as byproducts. And this applies to anything, the more you are aware of the production cycles behind the things you use and buy, the more you can make green choices.

Go local. Whether it is supporting local businesses, eating local food, or getting involved with local organizations, putting your dollars or time towards supporting your own community is an easy and rewarding way to improve the economic and environmental health of the city. Shepherding a sustainable future for Austin into reality is ultimately one big community project. We need to figure out how to grow a self-reliant local economy and develop the city’s infrastructure so that we can be much more efficient with how much gas we burn, how much energy we use, and how much land we develop. I also can’t emphasize enough how creating a sustainable Austin is a community education issue, not just an individual choice thing, and that’s where supporting the work of local non-profits is really critical. All the pieces for a green Austin future are here right now, and non-profits are the groups doing the challenging work of putting the puzzle together.”

Greg Esparza, Founder
TRIBEZA Green IssueJuly 2010


Next up in The Story of the Market Series: Lizzie Garrett, HOPEFM Development Director

The Story of the Market: Emily Stengel

The next story in this series is by HOPEFM founder Emily Stengel. For those of you who don’t know Emily, she’s a mover and shaker and is incredibly motivated, but always with a smile and a great sense of humor.

During her time with HOPE, she managed the art market, booked bands (including Whiskey Shivers), lined up yoga and other wellness workshops and hung monthly art exhibitions in the HOPE Gallery. She’s also responsible for HOPE’s presence at Lollapalooza and the HOPE Farmers Market at ACL every year. These days, in between traveling all over the country for her job with C3 Presents, she’s on the board of Anthropos Arts and helps coordinate the Daniel Frouman Jazz Extravaganza at the Market every spring.

Thank you Emily for all that you do!

-Lizzie


Find her story below…

The market was born out of serendipity, at least in my version of the story…

I met Andi on July 29 of 2009. One of fate’s catalysts had a feeling that she and I would do great things together, so we HAD to meet. Over hot tea in her apartment, we shared our stories. This happened to be days after Andi conceived the idea of starting a weekly market at Pine Street Station – it would be a community gathering space where farmers, artists and great causes join to promote healthy and creative lifestyles.  Years of experience managing art markets at music festivals combined with an interest in nutrition, cooking, and local businesses, positioned me as a founding member and co-manager of the Market. Andi and I  shook hands and off we went to start the HOPE Farmers Market.

Andi and Greg met around the same time. Greg graduated from the UT School of Architecture with an emphasis in community spaces. He would soon be the original Market Manager, and in charge of recruiting farmers and food vendors. He and I hadn’t met, but we weren’t strangers for long. You get to know someone pretty quickly when you cultivate a weekly project from the ground up. After 64 Sundays, countless meetings and two years on top of that, I now consider him family and his daughter my sweet godchild.

The initial months were spent recruiting vendors, a process much like the chicken/egg riddle. We needed vendors to draw the patrons and patrons to support the vendors. It was an exciting challenge; each time a farmer or business shared our vision and applied to participate, it felt as though we hit the jack pot. With a little bit of luck, great timing, and a lot of hard work, the HOPE Farmers Market debuted on October 25, 2009. From day one, the vendors, partners and unique artistic programs set the tone for the first lazy Sunday market in East Austin.

Enter Lizzie Garrett, who joined the market as a volunteer. She was a force – an incredibly driven, reliable, organized and tall lady from Virginia. She began to lead the volunteer program, then community programs and eventually, the entire Market. When I resigned in December 2010, Lizzie stepped up and eventually went on to become the first person to commit her time solely to the Market. With the foundation that we had laid, she collaborated with vendors and community partners to develop the marketing, programming and overall structure of the Market.

While only a few names were mentioned here, every single vendor, partner, volunteer, staff member and patron who ever visited HOPE Farmers Market is responsible for the Market’s success. As the Market moves on through different hands and on to a new location, each Sunday is a personal victory and a victory for East Austin.

Emily Stengel
HOPEFM Founder


Next up: Greg Esparza, HOPEFM founder and partner at Moontower Design/Build

As many of you know, this is just a small taste of the endless stories there are to tell. Have a Market memory of your own to share? Send it to us, and we’ll share the best ones!

The Story of the Market: Andi Scull Cheatham

Market Family and Friends:

Gather ’round, it’s story time! Now that we’re settled in at Plaza Saltillo, it’s time to commemorate the big move and share the collective memories of Market organizers (and maybe some vendors) past and present. This month, we’re featuring a series of blog posts to share the history of the HOPE Farmers Market: who we are and why we’re involved, how the Market started and how it’s grown… plus give a little sneak peek into what’s coming up!

As many of you know, this is just a small taste of the endless stories there are to tell. Have a Market memory of your own to share? Send it to us, and we’ll share the best ones!

See you around the Market,

Lizzie Garrett
HOPEFM Development Director

 


The first in this series is written by Andi Scull Cheatham, founder of the HOPE Campaign. 

The Beginning: Andi’s story…

In 2006, I first met with Shepard Fairey in LA to discuss an idea called the HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Campaign. This concept would involve artists and musicians to help raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. I could never have guessed that this meeting was the beginning of so much more ahead.

Three years later, I was in Austin for a HOPE/SXSW event and stopped by to see my long time friend Reji Thomas – just in time for Fader Fort in full swing at Pine Street Station. After the dust settled, Reji asked me for ideas about what to do with the space. In the past Reji and I had hosted art shows and events to support the artist community, but this time we were looking for something better, stronger, meaningful!

On the same trip, I also met with East Austin veteran and owner of Big Red Sun, Selena Souders. The first thing Selena said when she walked into the back of Reji’s old cotton rail warehouse was “farmers market!” I loved the idea and so did Reji, who shared that she had always wanted an art market or open air studio. This was exactly the type of meaningful project that we wanted HOPE to bring to the Austin community.

Farmers markets were a part of the fabric of my childhood and continued to be a weekly outlet for me as an artist and lover of fresh culinary goodness. As a child, my Chinese mother (like many other Asian immigrants in the US) shopped only at the local Chinese grocery store or at open air markets. These were the places that had food my mother considered “edible.” I remember being 8yrs old with my mom in a Safeway grocery store and watching her try to shop for our family. She was puzzled looking at all the boxed food and suddenly grabbed a loaf of Wonder bread and said to me, “This is not food. I don’t know how they sell this.”

And so research on the HOPE Farmers Market began! Who knew there were so many different and amazing farmers markets around the US, each with great formats, ideas and locations? As luck would have it, just a few weeks into gathering research I had an interesting meeting with a guy named Greg Esparza followed by visit from a girl named Emily Stengel. Greg was a recent UT Architecture graduate with a passion for community projects, and Emily had run the Art market at ACL Music Festival for the past few years – instant friendship! Together, we made the perfect team to start the first East side farmers market that would support and be supported by artists, musicians and local neighborhood families.

And so you have it. Since October 2009, many great stories, moments and relationships have happened at the HOPE Farmers Market. We’re ready for many many more to come at it’s new home at Plaza Saltillo!

Andi Scull Cheatham
Founder & Executive Producer
HOPE Campaign | HOPE Events


Next up: Emily Stengel, HOPEFM founder and current Event Services Manager at C3 Presents…