Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market goes year-round | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Mountain View Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: Get the latest food news with the biweekly Peninsula Foodist newsletter.
I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently workin...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market goes year-round

Uploaded: Jun 4, 2019
After four decades of running as a seasonal market, the Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market will now stay open year-round.

The market's all-volunteer board of directors made the change for a host of reasons, including increasing market competition and a need to remain financially stable, according to board President Bob McDiarmid.

"When we first started 39 years ago we were the only game in town," he said.

Now, there are year-round farmers markets in nearly every surrounding city — markets that customers would move to when the downtown Palo Alto market closed every year in December. In a survey of vendors and customers last year, they found that they were losing about a quarter of those customers who wouldn’t return when the Saturday-morning market reopened in May, McDiarmid said.


The Saturday morning Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market will now stay open year-round. Photo by Michelle Le.

Another main driver was figuring out how to sustain a longtime practice of donating proceeds to Palo Alto senior services nonprofit Avenidas. (Members of the Avenidas board and staff founded the market in 1981 after downtown Palo Alto lost its last grocery store.)

The market, which became an independent nonprofit in 1986, now donates about $20,000 a year to Avenidas.

"One of the reasons to go year-round was so we could be stable financially and still be able to afford a substantial donation" to the nonprofit, McDiarmid said.

This year, the market will close for just two weeks around Christmas but otherwise stay open year-round. They plan to bring in more local prepared foods, including an Indian eatery and dim sum stand, and are planning to offer cooking demos and other events.

The market currently has 35 vendors, including fresh produce, meats, seafood, olive oil, coffee, jams, baked goods and prepared foods.

"With all the competition going on, whatever we can do to help our vendors be successful and help get their product in front of customers is the name of the game," McDiarmid said.

The Downtown Palo Alto Farmers Market is located on Gilman Street between Hamilton and Forest avenues. It's open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Barbara, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 4, 2019 at 11:21 am

What a surprise and what good news is this! Love the fresh produce!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by charles reilly, a resident of another community,
on Jun 5, 2019 at 3:19 am

A very important, pertinent post! Farmer's Markets provide a high-level of trust and integrity about the food we eat. We appreciate this venue being open all the time, so we can rely on it year-around. Best of luck to them !


Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

Vons drops Korean fried chicken on downtown Redwood City
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 4,807 views

Is there a polite way to say "Too much plastic"?
By Sherry Listgarten | 29 comments | 4,025 views

What I will remember about Ruth Bader Ginsburg
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 1,968 views

Premarital and Couples: See "Buck" for Couple's Tips
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 757 views

 

Benefiting local non-profits

The 36th annual Moonlight Run and Walk is Friday evening, October 2, wherever you are! Proceeds go to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, benefiting local non-profits that serve families and children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Join us under the light of the full Harvest Moon on a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon.

Register Today!