Meet Our Team: Brie Mazurek

May 22, 2020

Meet Brie Mazurek, who joined Foodwise in fall 2011 as the Online Education Manager. She currently serves as Foodwise’s Communications Director, overseeing communications, marketing initiatives, and PR.

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

Growing up, I did not have much exposure to cooking or growing food. It wasn’t until much later, when I was working as an editor at a cookbook publisher, that I became curious about where my food came from. I remember being blown away the first time I visited the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. I wound up buying all things purple⁠—purple potatoes, purple peppers, purple green beans, purple carrots⁠. I had no idea such produce existed!

In 2009, around the time of the last recession, I took a leap and did something way out of my comfort zone: I signed up to be a farm apprentice at Green Gulch Farm. Following that eye-opening and life-changing experience, I decided to devote my passion for storytelling to helping city slickers like myself connect with local food and farms. I volunteered with Foodwise (then called CUESA) for a while before a job opened up. (Fun fact: I was also a volunteer at Mission Community Market when it first opened in 2010.)

What does your work at Foodwise look like in action?

My current role as Communications Director touches on all the ways we engage with our community, from online and in-person communications to pitching media stories and crafting big-picture messages, working closely with our communications coordinator, who manages our social media channels and e-letter.

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

While there’s a lot of magic that happens at the farmers market, farmers markets don’t magically happen on their own. Lots of effort goes on behind the scenes, from farmers getting up before dawn to drive to San Francisco and set up their booths, to our operations team managing many logistics that make it all appear seamless. Holding the intention that we’re all creating and sustaining the market together⁠, while keeping our sense of humor, openness, and care, goes a long way in making the magic happen.

What inspires or motivates you about your work?

It’s all about the community. Farmers, food makers, and chefs are some of the most hardworking, big-hearted, and visionary people I know. They are my heroes. Creating a fair, resilient, and sustainable food system is vital work, especially in these times of climate change and economic uncertainty, which is why I’m especially grateful to be here supporting this movement. Supporting the generous, dedicated people who work so hard to feed us—and helping to provide a platform them to share their work and stories—gives me a sense of gratitude, shared purpose, and hope.

What do you do to recharge outside of work?

I love figuring out what to do with my farmers market finds, and also enjoy taking walks, jogging, and exploring Oakland (especially places to eat!).

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

Where to begin? I’m a big fan of beans and eat them just about every day. I love Iacopi Farms beans paired with Massa Organics brown rice, and some hot sauce from Bolita or Tierra Vegetables. We always have lots of little jars in the fridge, including many ferments Wise Goat Organics. In the spring and summer, I look forward to apricots (probably my favorite stone fruit), tomatoes, and squash blossoms. When I’m at home, it brings me special comfort to picture the people who make all this deliciousness possible—strawberries from Poli and Silvia at Yerena Farms, avocados from Mirella and Will at Brokaw Ranch, coffee from Fernando and Hannah at Proyect Diaz…

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I want people to know how much their support matters, and what a powerful action they are taking by simply showing up at the farmers market each week. The farmers market truly is by and for our community. It’s an ecosystem, not just a collection of individual businesses or stands. Farm and food workers are, and have always been, essential, and their work never stops. We all must to do our part to support, care for, and prioritize the people who steward the land and feed us.

I also want to say a special thanks to those of you who read our e-letter every week and who engage with us on social media. I love reading your comments and questions and seeing photos of your market finds! Thank you for sharing your passion for our community and for growing the movement. And personally, I love hearing from you, so if you have any burning questions, feedback, or stories you’d like to see Foodwise covering, please don’t hesitate to contact me.