Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive
Spreading out in their old (geographical) location but new constructed space at the Civic Center the Del Mar Farmers Market is getting back to former levels of activity and even expanding. (It’s a challenge to the imagination to compare the before and after layouts of that space.) As Leslie Robson, President of the Farmers Market, remarks, the new site “has the extraordinary architectural opportunity of two levels on which to operate.” “When the city completes the last step in construction, the installation of solar panels in September and October, the most Southern area of the surface lot will be available for further expansion, which should provide room for at least six more vendors. On the Plaza level, there is room for expansion, as well.”
After a 32-year-long policy of marketing only produce and food items, the decision was made to offer non-food items and/or other services upon relocating. Currently, the new non-food vendors, which have boosted the market, sell beautiful women’s clothing, gorgeous handmade glass items, Argan oil, wellness products made from industrial hemp, table linens from Provence, and jewelry.
As Leslie Robson reports, “New food vendors include those selling cheese and dried meat, Spanish mojo sauce, luscious handmade organic fruit popsicles, and artisan chocolate. There is a portal in the DMFM website for potential vendors to submit applications and, of course, there is word of mouth amongst vendors. While there is always a normal ebb and flow of vendors, the manager Fabian Huertas has made a concerted effort to emphasize to new vendors the importance of constancy to build customer loyalty. As the customer base grows to know them, and what they sell is available on a regular basis, the vendors do well. Other non-profit groups are encouraged to set up on Saturdays at the market. The hope is that a real sense of a weekly community gathering will eventually develop.”
“The mainstay of the market, produce and food, continues to shine with beautiful fresh, local, seasonal offerings and eclectic and delicious prepared food. All in all, since the move back to the Civic Center, DMFM income has risen. After the usual slow summer months, it expected that attendance and revenues will continue to increase. The public is invited to come every Saturday, from 1-4 PM, and see if there isn’t something that piques interest, something yummy to nibble on, some new friend to be made.”
Note: See a short video clip of the Farmers Market on the Sandpiper website.