24 Jul LTFF BLOG: Mother Road Market from the Perspective of the Interns
By Cori Ernst, Paige McQueen and Kyle Minden
“People who love to eat are always the best people.”
Julia Child, the famous red-haired American who taught our grandmothers how to cook French dishes, said this quote. Admittedly, most interns (like ourselves) are part of Generation Z and don’t know about Julia Child – but we agree with her. We are a generation made of crazy dreams and far-out hopes and the quest to find the perfect cup of coffee. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what Mother Road Market, LTFF’s soon-to-open food hall, is made of too. It’s a space for the dreamers, the doers, and the entrepreneurs.
The search for community transcends generations, but it is arguably most evident in the lives of young adults. As a generation on the cusp of adulthood, we spend much of our time seeking meaningful relationships and environments in which these relationships can grow and thrive. Even college is often not viewed as a means to obtain an education, but as an opportunity for long-lasting community that stimulates social maturity. The problem with a thirst for community in a generation learning to be independent, however, is finding affordable avenues for socializing, diversity, and entertainment. Enter scene: the food hall.
Food halls are a social revolution springing up across the United States, and now Tulsa is going to have its very own. Mother Road Market will serve as a space for community, collaboration, and activity for those of us seeking relief from campus life without breaking our increasingly shallow bank accounts. From putt-putt, live music, and free events to a plethora of food options that allow for individuality even in a social group, Mother Road Market offers young adults the environment they want to foster the meaningful relationships they need.
For the most part, Gen Z’s don’t buy into the “But what can one person do?” mentality. It’s one of the most beautiful things about our generation, this refusal to be victims and to stand up for our values. It’s also one of the most beautiful things about Mother Road Market. If Mother Road Market had a heart, and we think it does through the people who run it, it would beat in time with its tenants’. The whole vision of the market isn’t just to be an instagrammable venue (although it will be that as well) but to HELP. To help entrepreneurs. To help leave as small of a toxic imprint on the environment as possible. To help educate Tulsa on why environmental sustainability is not a fad, but the future. To add the least waste to landfills by using compostable products. To be constantly aware of how much energy is being used and committed to only taking what is absolutely necessary. When you walk into Mother Road Market, know that you are not just walking into a business plan full of calculated profit and accounting ledgers – but into a space alive with vision.
Anyway, back to the most important topic — the food. Our thirst for community brings us around a table. We want to make a difference, and, in turn, consume things that share our values. Namely, unique and diverse options with socially-conscious ingredients. Culturally-diverse dishes, fresh flavors, and risky recipes all catch Gen Z’s attention and our wallets. At Mother Road Market, we are excited that our vendors share this audacious vision for food. Mother Road Market offers food from numerous cultures and includes everything from Umami Fries, to Midwesterranean chicken, to authentic Mexican street tacos, and Metropolis’ own street food. Our restaurants also share our love for “clean” food, where organic and socially-conscious food is the norm and not the exception. Finally, we love supporting our neighbors, and, yet again, Mother Road Market fits the bill. Every vendor in Mother Road Market is one of our Tulsa neighbors, and many are fulfilling their dream every time they serve us one of their delicious meals. Young adults want to make a difference, and we want to do it deliciously. Luckily, Mother Road Market meets our values in community, sustainability, and food, which is why you will find us at 1124 South Lewis Ave this fall.