From Farm to Del Mar

I went back to the Del Mar Farmers Market on a recent Saturday after a more-than-Covid hiatus of 4 years. Between 2017 and 2019 I wrote a number of articles on events there, vendor profiles, scholarships and grants awarded. Now I wanted to start up again. Outwardly things seem much the same, but a lot has been happening. 


I did a tour around the market, talking to new and familiar vendors and taking photos. Toward the north end Kaitlynn De La Cruz Hernandez was running the stall for Smit Farms, helped by her husband Kevin. At mid-point near the entrance to the underground garage was Kyle manning Tea Bazaar (shop on Kettner Blvd in Little Italy). If tea is not your cuppa, there are the offerings at Mr Brown Bean Coffee run by Hector. Two booths that came recommended were Sourpuss Donuts (Renee Fox chef/owner) who fry sourdough instead of baking it, and North County Olive Oil (Sue and Greg Robers) who also offer pasta and raviolis.


In January 2022 Karl Willert and Virginia McMinn joined the Board of Farmers Market. Karl succeeded Leslie Robson as President, while Virginia took charge of PR Media. Stuart Fish is Vice President and Rita Meier Treasurer, with Leslie now Secretary. Having made my tour of the stalls, I had lunch with Karl and manager of the Market Fabian Huertas, on whom I had written several times. We were later joined by Rita. who helps keep things running smoothly.

Karl Willert and Fabian Huertas, Photo by Jeff Barnouw.

My meal was from S Taco Loco, owned and run by Javier Soto (a popular name recently, he acknowledged). At lunch all agreed the market was enjoyable to be part of and going well, but that there were changes they were making too. They’re looking for more vendors and for volunteers for both the Market and the Board. And they are trying to use less plastic and generate less waste. Sustainability is a constant concern.


As we talked we had agreeable musical accompaniment from Mario Gomes, a Brazilian one-man Reggae band who plays under the stage name Marauak. He starts his Saturday morning in Ocean Beach at Val’s Coffee Shop before coming to Del Mar and later drives up to a third gig at Dana Point. The atmosphere at the Market is engaging. Stop by and buy.