Meet the Market — Phil Chang, Co-Head of Online Marketplace

Boulder County Farmers Markets

Phil Chang, an irreplaceable member of our BCFM team, brings a lot of heart and inspiration to our team, inspired by his travels to local markets while visiting Taiwan with his family. He co-manages our online marketplace operations, giving farmers a year-round outlet and customers more opportunities to buy locally.

Chang is also a constant source of recipe inspiration and humorous emails – and for that (and much more) we greatly appreciate him. His inspiration to do this kind of work is just one of many stories of community connection in our local food sphere, so we wanted to share his interview with us with the community.

BCFM: What brought you to work in local food?

Chang: Every time I walk into the supermarket, I’m greeted with mounds of the same cloned banana proudly displayed, despite the absence of a banana tree over a thousand miles away. An immaculate row of shiny Red Delicious apples shines deep into my skull, blinding me with the reflection of the fluorescent lighting – “Who’s eating this again?”

I become jaded by the monotony of the same articles month after month and disconnected from the seasonality of products. It isolates me from the community in which I exist, it suppresses the development of local food culture and it limits my culinary creativity.

It’s a gratifying feeling to know that the food I buy has been produced by the people who live in my neighborhood – honest people who make sure I get the tastiest heirloom tomatoes, the most creamy made from local dairy products and the shiniest banh. mi who shares an immigrant story.

Not only does local food connect you to farmers and their fresh produce, it also connects you to members of your community who are underappreciated and underrepresented.

Why did you want to work for BCFM?

As a Taiwanese-American child, my family traveled to Taiwan every two years. Every morning we walked to the street market and bought our daily produce. Standing in a pothole as wide as I was tall, picking the perfect bunch of water spinach, the most vibrant lychees and the sweetest pineapple as the scooters zoomed by, honking six thumbs behind me – my senses were assaulted in the best possible way.

The xiao jie on the other side of the wax apples was always cheerful and smiling, even when standing in the 90-degree heat and what looked like a swimming pool for which you could never find the ladder. She always took the time to chat and help us choose the ripest fruit.

In the evening, we retraced our steps to the market, except that when we arrived, the products had disappeared. Bitter melon, mangoes, atemoyas, xiao jie’s smiling face – nowhere to be found. In their place were sizzling hotplates, vats of bubbling soups and open-fire grills.

It was time for the night market, where the food stalls were limitless. From crispy, flaky scallion pancakes to little sausages in big sausages, the more you browsed, the more you wanted to eat, and the next stall always had something more appealing than the last.

I want to help recapture the emotions of curiosity, adventure, and exhilaration that I feel browsing the markets of Taiwan – but for the Boulder County community. It brings me great joy to see full bellies and smiling faces, and as a member of BCFM – a pillar of the community – it gives me the platform to nurture the people around me and reach out to those who waited for him. .

What is your favorite item at the market?

Red bunching onions from MASA. I will tattoo them next week.

To honor our online marketplace hero himself, we recommend you check out our BCFM Online Marketplace as many ingredients as possible for the following recipe. Order online and you may see Chang upon pickup. Or visit the Boulder Wednesday Market from 4-8pm and you might find Chang with a drink in the beer garden!

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