Meet Our Team: Andrea Akers

February 2, 2024

Meet Andrea Akers, who first joined Foodwise as an intern through our partnership with the New Door Ventures Ally Program in 2008. After successful completion of her internship, she joined the Operations team officially in 2009, first as an Operations Assistant, then as Operations Manager, and was promoted to Associate Director of Operations in 2023. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of our weekly farmers markets, accounts receivables, and other market administrative tasks, Andrea is also responsible for managing market staff and interns, as well as providing amazing support for our market customer services. 

Tell us a bit about you, your background, and your role at Foodwise.

I’m an SF native and was raised in Chinatown my whole life. I have a 16-year-old daughter named Re’ Naiyah who is in middle school and is my entire life. I started interning at Foodwise through New Door Ventures and ended up getting hired afterward. I’ve been working for Foodwise for 10 ½ years, and over the years the sellers and my co-workers have turned into family and customers into friends. 

As the Associate Director of Operations at Foodwise I deal with the layouts and markings for all sellers as well as managing the Mission Community Market. I supervise interns and also manage our Ops Team with Lulu, Tommy, and Deven. I work on A/R and billing for all sellers for all of our markets. I also deal with all of our inspections from SF Fire Department to the Agricultural Department. I play a part in a little bit of everything at Foodwise and wouldn’t change a thing. 

What inspires or motivates you about your work at Foodwise?

I’m all about making new friends and meeting new people. Working at Foodwise and being in direct contact with the public allows me to do all those things. I’m motivated knowing that we’re helping families, and I’m able to support mine because of it. I also love my co-workers and our seller community. 

What’s something that you wish people understood better about the farmers market?

I wish folks were more understanding of what it takes to run a market and to be patient with staff and sellers. It doesn’t just magically appear. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes effort to make it all happen. We have an amazing operations team that makes sure it does every week. I want people to know that we do our best and that it should be appreciated more.

What do you do to recharge outside of work?

I hang out with my kid and watch old reruns of “The Office” and “Gilmore Girls” and try new things to eat. I also like to listen to music, binge-watch any good series on Netflix, and hang out with friends and watch football. #49ERS!

Do you have any favorite farmers market tips you can share?

There are so many good things at the market it’s hard to choose, but here are just a few of my favorites: Anything at Mi Comedor, Delightful Foods, and Primavera is a must. I love all things fresh and dried from Everything Under the Sun, my favorite being Bill’s wild arugula. Cling peaches from K&J Orchards are my favorite along with all things from Tory Farms, GG Farms, Rojas Family Farm, and more. 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I would like shoppers and the market community to know that I appreciate their support and dedication to the market. It’s very important to the sellers and their livelihoods, but also to me because I’m able to support my daughter and make sure we’re taken care of.