This Saturday Jamaica Plain's food merchants, self-described "markets, bodegas, and grocery stores," in collaboration with a group under the name BuylocalJP.com will sponsor their first . Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the businesses will participate in a JP-wide food market open house, a kind of meet and greet to introduce residents to all the local purveyors. They are offering a free raffle as incentive to reward customers who visit at least six of the 25 featured markets.
The idea, said Betsy Cowan, executive director of Egleston Square Main Streets, was partly inspired by the current controversy swirling around food options in the local marketplace. Some people have been looking for other places to shop since the and BuylocalJP.com wants people to know all of their options.
According to Cowan, BuylocalJP.com is a group of organizations and businesses including the City of Boston's: Egleston Square Main Street, and , as well as , and former South End grocer Jamey Lionette.
Furthermore, Cowan said, no matter how many markets shoppers visit, they can make suggestions to the shopkeepers about what they'd like to buy or what services they'd appreciate, either directly to the shopkeepers or via the Passport.
Passports, which list and are available at all the participating markets, are free of charge and can also be downloaded in advance. When a Passport is stamped by six participating merchants, it makes the bearer eligible for the raffle. You can drop off your completed "passport" at any participating store.
In addition to providing prizes for the raffle, each market will feature special offers and incentives as well as some recipes and cooking demonstrations. Visit specific merchants for individual details.
Although the Shopping Spree begins at 10 a.m., there will be a noontime kickoff event at at 278 Centre St. featuring speakers and introductory remarks. It is timed to coincide with the end of the JP Regan Youth League's opening day festivities.