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First year of Turlock Certified Farmers Market labeled success

First year of Turlock Certified Farmers Market labeled success

Turlocker Alyssa Epstein and her one-year-old son Nathaniel Evens shop for fresh produce at the Turlock Certified Farmers Market on Friday.

POSTED November 12, 2010 8:45 p.m.

Attempts to run a well-attended farmers market in Turlock have not faired well in the past, but this year, the market may have found its niche with a successful first year.

“It’s been pretty successful for the first season,” said Brandon Follete, Turlock Certified Farmers Market organizer.

A solid group of vendors have remained constant throughout the five months of the first farmers market, a family atmosphere has remained strong and a variety of vendors have created many options for Turlockers to chose from, Follete said.

When the market first started, the plan was to pick the best day to bring in the most people and it worked.

“The committee took their time in deciding the best date and time that would let the most vendors participate,” said Trina Wally, executive director of the Turlock Downtown Owners Association, in March before the market opened. “It was decided Friday was the best option because there are no other regional markets operating that day.”

That selection has worked out for both the vendors and community members.

“Having the market on Friday works good for us,” said Ruben Amaya, employee and vendor for Edith’s Bakery.

Amaya’s brother usually takes the bakery’s fresh baked goods to the Modesto Farmers Market on Thursdays and Saturdays, so a Friday Turlock market fit right in their schedule, Amaya said.

The market also wanted to be able to provide a family-like atmosphere with a good selection of vendors, Follete said.

“Our goal was to be a family market and that has proved itself,” he said.

Some of the things that has helped target the families is the once a month non-profit group booths like Turlock MOMS club.

A variety of vendors have also drawn out a crowd with about 20 to 25 vendors in the summer time and about 18 to 20 vendors through the fall months, Follete said.

Fresh-baked bread, honey, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables and even Mediterranean hummus is available at the Turlock Certified Farmers Market.

Even with the planned out date, family-like atmosphere and the variety of vendors, once school started the market was having trouble bringing in foot traffic, but they managed to keep the word out that the market was still going with a new selection of fall produce.

Vender Amaya feels like the downtown location brings in the most foot traffic with its placement between all the businesses and offices where employees can take a break during work and visit the local market, he said.

With a successful year so far, the market is planning to continue next year with some possible additions to attract more people, Follete said. There will be one more daytime farmers market on Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one more nighttime farmers market from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 26, coinciding with the Festival of the Lights.

And what some are looking forward to the most about years to come with the Turlock farmers market is the development of its very own personality, said vendor Anne Piccirillo, owner of Athena’s Gifts extra virgin olive oil.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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