Since the Bayview Farmers Market pilot kicked off in August, the market has consistently attracted large crowds. Now, as the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association (PCFMA) approaches the fifth and final week of the pilot program, it has decided to extend the pilot to October.
If all goes well, the market—which currently runs every Sunday from 10am to 2pm—will become permanent.
"We are excited by the abundant enthusiasm and support we have received for our new pop-up farmers’ market in the Bayview, especially from the local residents that have been shopping in the market," said Ben Palazzolo, director of PCFMA.
The market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, plants, eggs and baked goods, and PCFMA has discussed adding meat and poultry. Palazzolo is working closely with Economic Development on Third (EDoT) to determine the feasibility of the expansion.
Partnerships with low-income assistance programs have been a major part of the market’s success. Farmers at the market accept a variety of payments from the programs.
“We’ve also partnered with Eat SF to ensure that their vegetable vouchers are accepted at the market as well," said Palazzolo. "Customers can also use CalFresh at the market, and PCFMA will match up to $10 that can be spent on fruits and vegetables via our Market Match program.
He told us that after operating for three weeks, a total of $561 in CalFresh and Market Match dollars have been distributed at the Bayview Farmers' Market.
Bayview restaurant owners have also supported the market, making purchases to add specials to their menus and keeping sales consistent.
While the market hosts a number of local merchants and organizations, like bakery Craftsman and Wolves—which operates a pancake pop-up—and the Bayview Opera House—which sponsors live music—PCFMA is hoping to secure more local vendors.
Supervisor Malia Cohen said she'd like to see more of this as well, but is excited about the vendors who are currently in place.
“Opportunities to buy healthy foods are so important for my district’s residents," she said. “I know that the residents will continue to support local vendors who have been given this opportunity.”
Mayor Ed Lee echoed Cohen's sentiments. “For too long," he said, "this community has suffered from a lack of healthy alternatives, but with the farmers market—and grocery stores such as Duc Loi’s Pantry now in the neighborhood—members of the Bayview community have access to nutritious food options.”
“Every resident in this city should be able to find fresh, affordable food options within a short walk from their home."
Tomorrow, the market will feature fresh bread from Sour Flour, pressed olive oil from Gratta Wines and pasta and cured olives from Bayview Pasta.
As EDoT and PCFMA continue to work with farmers and Bayview merchants, more local vendors will be added to the list.