Meet Our Team: Tommy Phung

July 16, 2020

In these times of social distancing, we would love for you to get to know our team better. Each week, we’re going to take you “behind the mask” with a different CUESA staff member, so that, even when our faces are covered, we won’t be strangers at the farmers market. This week, meet Assistant Operations Manager Tommy Phung. 

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

I’m a San Francisco native and have been living here all my life, which I don’t think is going to change any time soon. I’ve been working with Foodwise since I was in high school. I got involved through a friend who was working at Foodwise and asked if I wanted a job. I’ve been with Foodwise for 16 years now. I’m currently the Assistant Operations Manager for Foodwise. I do a little bit of everything. I’m everywhere on a market day, from helping with the Veggie Valet and Info Booths to managing chef parking. I also manage all the sellers documents, making sure they are up to date and compliant with the SF Fire Department. Before working at Foodwise, I’d never gone to a farmers market. Now that I know what goes on behind the scenes at markets, I like to check out different markets when I get the chance to see how they’re different from us and get ideas of how to make ours better. 

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

I wish customers understood farmers drive early in the mornings and a long distance to come to the market. I wish everyone would give the farmers time to set up properly and time to collect themselves, even if they’re eager to pick up produce for themselves.

What do you do to recharge outside of work? 

A hobby I recently picked up due to gyms being closed was jogging. I jog around my neighborhood usually at John McClaren Park or even down here on the Embarcadero after work. I now jog about 5 times a week, 3-6 miles a time. It helps me zone out and not think about all the stuff happening all around us. I challenged myself to run 100 miles in May, and I did about 105 miles!

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

There are so many good choices to choose from. For prepared foods, my go-to on the weekdays are the loco moco from Namu and either a burrito or tacos from Mi Comedor. On Saturday, Primavera is my go-to, with either tacos or chilaquiles. There are never any wrong decisions on what to pick up at the market any day of the week since they are all delicious.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I want to let all the people know that we are thankful for the shoppers and farmers showing up rain or shine to support us. Without shoppers or farmers, there won’t be any market.

Photo by Amanda Lynn Photography.