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

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (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.
What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

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

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Local Transit to the Rescue?
By Sherry Listgarten | 27 comments | 3,354 views

Round Table Pizza bites the dust in downtown Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 3,135 views

Eating Green on the Green – August 25
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,338 views

"The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 711 views

Lessons from visiting great grandma
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 464 views

 

Register now!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

More info