Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Farmers Market Coming to San Diego: Adams Ave.

If you're a fan of the Saturday Little Italy Mercato run by Catt Fields White, but live over in the Normal Heights/Kensington area, you're going to love this bit of news. On Sept. 9 (the first Wednesday after Labor Day) White is launching a new farmers market in your neighborhood on Adams at 40th St. The market will be held every Wednesday afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m.

Already she's got a terrific line up of vendors that include Schaner Farms (love their eggs!), Smit Orchards, Sage Mountain Farms, Randazzo Farms, Da Le Ranch, Omega Me Well, Viva Pops, and Knight Salumi.

In just over a year, White has made the Little Italy Mercato a go-to market for San Diegans who love the urban setting with its beautiful bay view and carefully selected vendors. Recently, she opened another stretch of Date St. to accommodate new vendors--close to 90 at this point. Plus, she's doing chef demos and other special features. With the new market, both regular customers and chefs who have been asking for another quality mid-week market, will be able to buy high-quality local organic produce and other items from farmers and producers they already have a relationship with.

One question I get a lot is do we have too many farmers markets already (about 30 in San Diego County) and I asked White if this new market adds to what some vendors complain about already--that they're being spread too thin.

"No, I don't," she said. "A quality market in the area will attract shoppers and farmers and vendors. Each good market has its own flavor and attracts new devotees, along with occasional visitors."

White does think that we'll continue to see some attrition as markets that have opened without a strong base of both farmers and shoppers fold. "Markets, like any other business, have to devote time to quality control, marketing, and customer appreciation," she noted. "In our case, we have two customer bases, farmers/vendors and shoppers, and we have to make sure that we create an environment that benefits both. We'll continue to do that at both markets, and I expect both to thrive as a result."

The Little Italy Mercato is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Date St. just off Kettner Blvd. Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Adams Ave. market.

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