New allergy friendly food market opens in Mt. Airy
Downtown Mt Airy’s food renaissance continues.
This Friday, Amy Kunkle and Leslie McLaughlin, formerly of the controversial and now-defunct Good Food Market in Chestnut Hill, and baker Rachel Kern will open Food For All Market at 7127 Germantown Ave.
As the name of the market suggests, Food for All will cater to people with food allergies and to those with no allergies whatsoever who want from-scratch prepared foods and pastries and organic produce.
In an interview at Infusion Coffee and Tea in Mt. Airy, Kunkle, a Glenside resident who grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, said the idea for a market friendly to people with food allergies stems from her experience as a mother of small children with food allergies. She really got started when her son who had milk and gluten allergies was ready to celebrate his first birthday.
“I wanted him to have a birthday cake that tasted good,” Kunkle said.
That led her to start a small food business catering to people with food allergies called “Amy Bakes.”
And so Kunkle, who says she has worked in restaurants and in the food business her whole life – before Good Food Market, she was a partner in the Elcy’s Café in Glenside – decided to develop a food business to provide people with food allergies plenty of fresh options.
“I want the market to be one-stop shopping for people with food allergies or for people who like healthy food prepared from scratch,” Kunkle said.
After Good Food Market closed last year, Kunkle began looking to strike out with a new business in a new location. She looked in Jenkintown and Glenside, but couldn’t find a good fit. She came to Mt. Airy and, when she saw the space, knew that it was the right place.
“This felt like the right block,” she said. “This entire block seems to have the same philosophy.”
Those philosophies of the new market, Kunkle says, in addition to food for the allergic, are sustainable agriculture and recycled fixtures in the retail part of the market.
In addition to the prepared foods, the market will carry fresh produce, milk and eggs from local farms.
Kunkle said she hopes the market will fit right into the community. She said she encountered nothing but encouragement from everyone from her landlord, Ken Weinstein, to East Mt. Airy Neighbors, which approved her variance request, and even from City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, who wrote an enthusiastic letter of support to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the body that grants variances in Philadelphia. It’s all been very encouraging, she said.
Food For All Market opens this Friday, Sept. 10, at 8 a.m. The following Monday, Sept. 13, the market will host a class called “ Know Thyself Nutritional Program,” to help people familiarize themselves with food allergies. The public is welcome. For more information, visit www.foodforallmarket.com.