Rebranding a San Francisco Institution

The San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market is San Francisco’s original and only wholesale produce market. It is home to a diverse range of 30+ merchants supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to food retailers and restaurants throughout the Bay Area and beyond. A pillar of the Bay Area’s food system, the Market provides critical food infrastructure, programs, and relationships that help hundreds of small businesses and their communities thrive. With a landmark 60-year lease from the City of San Francisco, and recent recognition as a historic asset by San Francisco’s Legacy Business Registry, the Market tapped Trinity for a major rebranding effort to energize current audiences and extend awareness to entirely new ones. The program included a new brand strategy, messaging, moniker, logo, and look and feel that would express the vibrant and critical role the Market plays in the Bay Area’s food economy and the broader community it serves.



High Impact, Low Awareness

Along with the 60-year lease came a transition to non-profit status and an innovative $100M development project to upgrade and expand. And while the Market’s current core constituency (merchants, farmers, food buyers, board members, staff and local government decision makers with the City of San Francisco) already understood and valued its purpose, the true impact was little known to potential investors and philanthropic organizations. Trinity recognized that for the Market to establish a strong connection with this expanded audience and energize its core constituents, we would need to develop a brand strategy rooted in the significant positive impact it has on the food systems, economies and communities the Market touches.

Trinity’s deep dive into the organization uncovered a rich history full of stories of growth: independent grocers and small merchant businesses grown wildly successful; small farmers vastly expanding their reach; restaurants discovering a dependable source for the perfect ingredients to help make their reputation; local residents finding hundreds of jobs in their own backyard; and food-recovery programs delivering millions of pounds of unused produce to local communities in need. These stories, plus a smart and innovative plan for the future, defined the Market as one of those rare service brands that benefits everyone involved.



Grow, Grow, Grow

To develop a compelling brand strategy, Trinity articulated the singular, powerful benefit the Market provides all its constituents. While it represents a broad range of audiences, one thing the Market offers everyone is a platform for growth. By emphasizing its’ power to help everyone grow, Trinity helped the Market lay confident claim to its place at the center of the Bay Area’s thriving food economy – its unique San Francisco location and its infrastructure the stage for critical access and scale. That promise of growth, for a business or an investment opportunity, was a powerful backdrop from which to tell the brand’s story and develop a memorable and authentic brand identity.

To bring the name in line with the growth-focused and audience-targeted brand strategy, we developed a shorter moniker—The SF Market—making it easier to say and remember, and proudly defining the Market as a San Francisco institution. And we added the tagline—Source for Fresh Produce—to drive home the core of what The SF Market does.



Bringing a Vibrant Brand to Life

The new brand identity system vividly brings to life The SF Market’s vital role in growing and sustaining a healthy and vibrant Bay Area. The logo needed to strike a balance between being a rock solid, stable business, and letting the vibrancy of The SF Market shine through. Strong indigo letterforms make it clear this is a longstanding and important B2B marketplace, not a farmer’s market. And the leaf logo expresses both the freshness and the centrality of The SF Market. Working on many levels, the leaf is alternately an organic shape sprouting from the wordmark, a roadmap leading in and out of “SF,” or a topographical farmland landscape. Easily recognizable on merchant trucks crisscrossing the Bay Area, it will serve as a way for consumers to know where their produce comes from, and for businesses to see where they can access a fresher, better range of produce. We developed a visual toolbox to easily extend the look and feel with consistency and flexibility across a variety of touchpoints, including a vivid color palette, an iconic leaf graphic and a distinctive duotone horizon line. New signage infuses The SF Market and its neighborhood with new energy and color.

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Trinity Brand Group
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