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Farmers market opens on high note
market pic1
Fresh, locally grown produce was once again available in downtown Turlock at the opening of the Certified Farmers' Market on Friday. - photo by BROOKE BORBA / The Journal

Hundreds flocked to the Turlock Certified Farmers Market for opening day on Friday, looking for a taste of locally grown products. new location off S. Broadway between A and W. Main streets on Friday morning for to see new and old vendors offering their latest merchandise.

Vendors and market attendees alike were impressed with the change in location this year, off S. Broadway between and A and W. Main streets.

“We’ve been coming to the farmers market since it was first put on Golden State Boulevard,” said Turlock native Debi Dains. “I think this new location is going to work out a lot better. It wasn’t difficult before; but I know it can get annoying for drivers to get through Main Street. Now, there is not so much congestion.”

Dains was also pleased by the number of vendors present, including the crafts, bakery, and fresh local products booths. She and her friends, including Tracy Stock from Hilmar, went from booth to booth, sampling treats and admiring the fresh produce.

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Stock. “We’ve been questioning, asking when it was going to start when it was only January.”

Some of their favorite vendors were Jammin’ Jams, Ellie and Charley’s Natural Garden, the craft booths, and the fresh baked goods.

“The local fruits and vegetables are amazing,” said Stock. “There is great music, ambiance, samples; it is a great place to go on a Friday afternoon. It doesn’t cost a lot. Where else can you spend a few hours outside and have some fun?”

Along with fresh produce, the market also featured sweets like Lisa’s Cookie Jar, the Shave Ice Shack, and Legacy Toffee.

“This is where we started,” said Legacy Toffee’s Carla McLaughlin, who began vending with her three best friends, Diana Lewis and Julie Burke nearly three years ago. “We always do really well here. The farmers market has been good to us. We get to visit with friends and meet new people. It gives us a chance to be in a social environment.”

Mariah Vitoria of Soooo Yummy Mini Donuts! out of Hilmar quickly made an impact on the community as one of the newest “sweet” vendors to join the Turlock Farmers' Market. The business started less than three weeks ago, but has hit the ground running with multiple outreach efforts.

“We knew the Turlock Farmers’ Market was close and simple to get into. We knew there wasn’t this kind of thing here,” said Vitoria. “Our donuts are a specialty that you can’t get anywhere else.”

Many of Friday's market attendees swarmed the fruit and vegetable stands and were amazed by the low prices and fresh quality. Some customers even opted to pay more for their produce at a Bava Farms produce stand.

Bava Farm’s owner, John Bava, comes back every year to the Turlock Farmers’ Market despite running additional vending businesses in Modesto, Oakdale, Ripon and Stockton.

“Turlock is a real nice town,” he said. “There isn’t much traffic, but we don’t mind. We enjoy the customers in Turlock the most because they are real friendly and we still get good business.”

Turlock’s new market manager Derek Griffin said he was pleased by the opening day outcome, and looks forward to the future.

“We actually had a great turnout for opening day,” Griffin said. “I was impressed.”