Helen Kaufmann | Condesa Drive
|Ana Nieto. Photo Helen Kaufmann
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Ana Nieto, the new manager of Del Mar’s farmers market, has a passion for health, wellness, and connecting communities with local food producers. Originally from Spain, she holds a degree in nursing and is a nutrition specialist, dance instructor, and theatrical producer. Before moving to Del Mar two years ago, she lived on Long Island, where she launched several farmers markets.
According to Nieto, she was drawn to the San Diego area because of the weather and year-round availability of fresh produce. She became a regular customer of the Del Mar Farmers Market and was named manager this past February when the position became available. “I love supporting the local food providers, learning from them, and talking to members of the community,” Nieto says. “It’s such a wonderful community event.”
Nieto hopes to lure more residents to the market with additional benches and tables for socializing as well as special events such as educational talks, musical entertainment, and food demonstrations by local chefs. “Events are crucial,” she says. “They involve collaborating with local organizations.”
Another crucial aspect of managing the market is retaining and recruiting quality vendors. Nieto notes that while she is contacted by at least two prospective vendors each week, only food vendors are currently being accepted. She must also ensure that there is limited overlap of similar products. Once a new vendor joins the market, it generally takes a few weeks for customers to get to know them and develop the special relationship that makes the farmers market experience so unique.
Established in 1986 as a nonprofit organization, Del Mar’s market is one of the longest running certified farmers markets in San Diego County and offers more than 30 vendors of organic and pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, baked goods, seafood, and specialty cuisine.
The market is open year-round from 1-4 p.m. every Saturday in the Del Mar City Hall lower parking lot, just off Camino del Mar between 10th and 11th Streets. For more information, visit www.delmarfarmersmarket.org