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Ingka’s new San Francisco center plans 80% plant-based food hall

Al Urbanski
Directing the Saluhall concept will be Kerb, which opened the busy Seven Dials Market food hall in London.

Ingka Centres—Ikea’s shopping center developer partner—will be trying out a unique food hall concept at the “meeting place” center that opened last month on Market Street in downtown San Francisco.

Along with three bars featuring craft beer and wine, the 23,000-sq.-ft. Saluhall (Swedish for “sales hall”) will host a lineup of food vendors that will aim to keep 80% of their offerings plant-based.

“Embracing the ethos of a progressive city, Saluhall is more than a food hall. Saluhall is a celebration of Scandinavian food principles that nourish both body and soul,” said Stéphane Keulian, Ingka’s food and beverage development leader. “It is a community, a meeting and eating place that unites local vendors and inspires conscious food choices.”

Directing the Saluhall concept is Kerb, a curator of street food concepts founded by an ice cream van operator named Petra Barran who began grouping her fellow street vendors together in high traffic urban locations in London. Over the past 11 years, the company has worked with 500 start-up food businesses and opened Seven Dials Market, a busy food hall in the city.

Ingka also brought in Claus Meyer, one of the founders of the New Nordic cuisine movement, to add a distinctive Scandinavian flavor to the food hall. He has partnered to create a bakery/eatery and a cooking school at Saluhall that are intended to amplify community engagement at the project.

“As a fan of good food movement leaders and chefs that grew their work in this region, it’s an honor to be invited to bring delicious ideas and vibes from Copenhagen to San Francisco,” Meyers said. “Over the past 10 years we have been building the Nordic Cuisine movement in New York, Bolivia, and Morocco and we hope with our participation in the Saluhall project to further enrich the mid-market food scene.”

Ingka operates 47 malls and shopping centers in 14 markets worldwide, many of them what would be considered super-regional centers in the United States. One of its latest openings was a $4 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use center in China.

The San Francisco meeting place on 945 Market Street—Ingka’s first opening in the United States-- is a 250,000-sq.-ft. property anchored by a 70,000-sq.-ft Ikea store. A similar project is underway in Toronto.

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