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New Farmers Market Coming to Capitola Mall

April 26 will mark the launch of Capitola's very own fresh produce market.

The culture of Capitola lends itself perfectly to a farmers market. It's forward-thinking, green-conscious and lush with delicious food. But for years residents have been forced to go to Aptos or Santa Cruz for truly farm-fresh produce and meats.

On April 26, that era ends as the Bay Area Farmers Markets Association (BAFMA) is bringing a new weekly market to the main parking lot of the Capitola Mall every Thursday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

"We've been working on it for the past year," BAFMA President Johnna Borello told Patch. "We finally got all the permits together and the approval from the city to start the market."

Together, Johnna and Jon Borello run seven markets. The Borellos grow a host of fruits and vegetables themselves, but only sell their cherries at their markets to make room for all the other farmers. In addition to the new Capitola location, their markets are in Morgan Hill, Cupertino, Mountain View, Campbell, Saratoga and San Jose. And they are thrilled to add a Santa Cruz County location to their roster.

"Our association is really excited because as far as we know, we are the first actual growers to start a farmers market association," Borello said. "Most of the others are run by government agencies."

The new Capitola market is in an advantageous spot because of the mass of free parking at the mall, Borello said. While parking is not an issue, BAFMA is still seeking to fill all 50 vendor spots that the market was approved for. So far, 37 have been filled. To apply for a spot at the market, click here.

Although the market will run during what is typically working hours, Borello expects plenty of shoppers.

"A lot of the community has said that they prefer a weekday market because it can be harder to get out on the weekends with kids with football practice and birthday parties and things like that, so a weekday market was really an excitement to everybody," she said. "It's more of a stay-at-home mom crowd. It's directed to the people that are in that area that work too, so people can come on their lunch break."

To celebrate the launch of the market, the Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. at the April 26 inaugural event. That day will also feature free balloons, free face painting and live music. 

Are you excited for a new farmers market in town? What do you think of the weekday time slot and location? Tell us in the comments!

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Willow April 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Although I am sure that, once there, the Farmer's Market will be quite visible, the article didn't give the location within the giant parking lot at the Mall. Is it facing 41st? Clares? Capitola Avenue? What major store will it be near? For instance, back entrance to Macy's? Near Sears (front/side)? Kohls?
catherine Barr April 19, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Jacob, I don't think the customers are "forced" to go to either the Aptos or Live Oak farmers markets...they like going there to get fresh fruits and veggies, and talk to the farmer that they have become close to. Johanna needs to check her facts. The Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Market (Cabrillo College market in Aptos) was started by 4 farmers 35 years ago and is still run by the farmers of the organization. We only allow 15% of non-farmers in at a time ie: Bakers, fisherman, pasta, because farmers markets were started for just that.... farmers. With over 750 certified farmers markets in the state of California there are several other markets that were started by farmers. Good luck to them. Catherine Barr, Executive Director Monterey Bay Certified Farmers market Association.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 19, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Over on Facebook commenters are saying they don't like the time slot, but love the idea of the market. Anyone else have thoughts?
stacia April 19, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Totally agree. A better time slot would be preferred.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Willow, good question. It will be facing 41st Avenue, clear for everyone to see that drives by.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) April 19, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Catherine, thanks for the info. As for the "forcing" issue, clearly what was meant is that there was no option in Capitola, so market shoppers had to go to Aptos or Santa Cruz.
Peking April 20, 2012 at 04:47 PM
People don't complain about the Wednesday afternoon Farmer's Market in downtown Santa Cruz. In fact, it's very well attended. Thursday afternoons here in Capitola are great. If no one shows up, then they'll rethink the time slot.
elizabeth james April 20, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I am always hoping for a farmers market near Dominican, Santa Cruz Gardens, DeLaveaga vicinity - or hey, maybe just ANY market. I think the Capitola market is a good idea, though, and I will check it out.

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