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Paul Steinke - Reading Terminal Market

PASA Member Since 2011
Reading Terminal Market
Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia County)

The Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia boasts some impressive statistics. The market is 120 years old, covers 78,000 square feet (about 1.7 acres), houses over 72 vendors, and is a must see for food lovers from all over. This historic food hub is fortunate to have PASA member Paul Steinke as its General Manager. Under his leadership the market is undergoing extensive renovation and renewal, moving closer to his goal of remaking the market as “a showcase for the regional food system."

Paul believes in the importance of “see-food” to engage and inform market shoppers, things like hand-rolled, freshly baked soft pretzels, and hand-dipped chocolates that catch the eye and appetite. The latest “see-food” is a Valley Shepherd creamery where shoppers can watch artisanal raw milk cheeses being made on site - coming soon in late summer 2012.

While many people have questioned whether the rapid rise of farmers markets in and around Philadelphia competes with the Reading Terminal’s business, Paul believes the opposite. “The growth of neighborhood farmers markets benefits the Reading Terminal Market. Farmers markets have created a more informed and engaged consumer, curious about how their food was produced and where it’s coming from."

Paul signed the Reading Terminal Market up for PASA membership because “the market is part of the larger community PASA serves.”  Paul’s participation in PASA programs and events “has raised my awareness of the issues surrounding sustainable agriculture, and has also introduced me to the practitioners, producers, and food activists in our region."  Through his PASA experience, Paul is encouraged to pursue additional opportunities for sustainable practices for the market such as recycling, waste removal, and perhaps someday even composting.

If you don’t already know and love the Reading Terminal Market - stop in. You’ll see what Paul means when he fondly describes the market as “a large, indoor food extravaganza with a focus on small businesses preparing and serving food in a lively, exciting environment that is truly a feast for the senses."

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