Background: The Boston Public Market (BPM), slated to open in July 2015, will house over 40 permanent, year-round vendors who will sell locally produced items such as farm fresh produce, meat and poultry, cheese, fish and shellfish, bread and baked goods, flowers, and an assortment of specialty and prepared foods. While Boston has more than twenty seasonal, open-air farmers’ markets, the city still lacks a year-round central marketplace. This will be Boston’s first venue that serves as a low-cost outlet for Massachusetts farmers and supports local food entrepreneurs.
Legal Need: Vendor selection for the Boston Public Market is an ongoing, robust, multi-stage process that involves a variety of stakeholders, including BPM staff, industry experts, community members and national consultants. When BPM realized that every vendor required an individual application and lease agreement that included each vendor’s stall design, it contacted the Legal Food Hub for legal assistance with drafting these lease agreements.
The Relationship: Staff at the Legal Food Hub matched the Boston Public Market with skilled real estate attorneys at Nixon Peabody. “We’re so grateful that the Legal Food Hub was able to match us with Nixon Peabody,” said Liz Morningstar, CEO of the Boston Public Market. “By connecting farmers and food entrepreneurs in Massachusetts with expert legal advice, the Legal Food Hub allows these small food businesses to expand, professionalize, and focus on their real work—growing and producing fresh local food.”
“We’re thrilled to be helping the Boston Public Market negotiate leases with vendors from around Massachusetts and New England, allowing these local food businesses to sell directly to customers in Boston,” said Jennifer Simon Lento, an Associate at Nixon Peabody. “Participating in the Legal Food Hub is a great way for the legal community to contribute to the growth of our local food economy.”