What do Cupid and farmers market at Fresno’s River Park have in common? Free chocolate
Find evening farmers markets a little too sweaty during summer?
Fresno now has another Saturday morning farmers market option. River Park has started hosting a farmers market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
It is also beefing up its existing farmers market on Tuesdays, adding new food trucks, a kids section and other local vendors.
The Saturday morning, year-round market started because some shoppers didn’t want to deal with the heat or the crowds that the Tuesday market attracts, said Peter DeYoung of California Fresh Farmers’ Market Association, the company that manages and operates both farmers markets.
Less than a month old, the Saturday market has about 40 vendors and is looking for more.
“It has a little bit of everything,” he said.
The market has vendors selling fruit and vegetables, including Asian veggies, and nuts, jams and jellies.
Several vendors sell food on Saturdays, including waffles from the Wafflicious truck and pastries and crepes from Crème de la Crème Bakery & Mobile Creperie (some may remember this business from its former store at Bullard and West avenues).
Two Cities Coffee Roasters from Clovis serves coffee and an iced tea made with fresh peaches that is “mindblowing,” DeYoung said.
“It’s a huge seller,” he said. “People line up for this tea.”
Handmade items like soaps, candles and succulents planted in creative containers are also sold at the Saturday market, which is still expanding.
“We’re looking for vendors,” DeYoung said. “We’ve got our feelers out and if there are people that are an artisan or a baker, or even growers, we’re still looking for vendors.”
Interested vendors are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tuesday market from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. is nearly 20 years old. It started expanding about a month ago and is quadrupling its space, taking over more of the shopping center’s interior streets.
The market will be organized into sections, such as Gourmet Way for food sellers, Fresh Market for veggie and fruit vendors, and an International Marketplace for things not grown here, like jackfruit and pineapples.
A kid zone will have bounce houses, face painting and other kid-friendly activities.
The Tuesday market has about 65 vendors, 18 of them recently added.
Many of the new vendors at the Saturday morning market are coming on Tuesdays, too, including makers of handmade goods.
Newcomers on the food side include bread maker The Brioche Lady, the Brown Butter Baking Co. with its cookies and the Gastro Grill food truck by Chacon’s Catering. One vendor uses a commercial press to juice sugar cane, turning it into drinks.
Another roasts peanuts on site. The light, medium and dark roasts all have their own unique flavor, DeYoung said.
He hopes the farmers market will grow to 130 vendors by next year, and he is seeking new vendors.
California’s “cottage food law,” which makes it easier for home-based bakers to sell their food, is creating more potential vendors for farmers markets, DeYoung said.
“We’re being very selective. What we don’t want the market to turn into is a swap meet,” he said. “Our goal is if you grow it, if you produce it, if you make it or you bake it … those are the people we’ll let in.”