Monday, March 15, 2010

Majority of Vendors at Farmers Market in Sunset Valley Remain

Majority of Vendors at Farmers Market in Sunset Valley Remain; Now Called SFC Farmers' Market at Sunset Valley


Austin, TX - Sustainable Food Center (SFC), a local non-profit, has answered the call from the farming and small local business community to keep a farmers' market at Sunset Valley. SFC will begin operating a Saturday farmers' market next week under a temporary permit, March 20, pending approval by the Sunset Valley city council. A majority of the vendors from the previous Sunset Valley Farmers Market will be continuing to sell in the Toney Burger Center area and adjacent Pillow Street. Some farmers who have only been at SFC's Austin Farmers' Market downtown will now be at both locations. Now called the SFC Farmers' Market at Sunset Valley, the market will feature about 50 vendors to start, with a majority of them farmers. There will also be quality ready-to-eat and value added vendors, as well as a small group of artisans.

Customers are welcome to use the same ample parking that they are accustomed to, and are invited to stop by the Information Booth to learn about the change and how to continue support of the farmers. After an interim temporary period of operation, the market is up for review of an annual permit at the City of Sunset Valley April 6th council meeting.

The market hours remain the same, from 9 am to 1 pm, and the location of the market will move slightly to the east within the area. SFC's application with the City of Sunset Valley expresses an intent to run the market weekly, rain or shine, year-round. Farmers who have already expressed their commitment to remaining at the Sunset Valley location under SFC's management include Hairston Creek Farm, Johnson's Backyard Garden, and Swede Farm Dairy, among many others.

SFC is prepared to carry out our mission of cultivating a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. We institute a number of educational and accessible programs at the markets we operate, including the SNAP Lone Star program, Farmers' Market Nutrition Program coupons for fruits and vegetables during the summertime, farmers' product tasting tent, chef's demos, gardening workshops, etc. We are a local 501 (c)(3) non-profit and have been involved in the community of growing food for more than 35 years.

Find out more about SFC's family of farmers' markets and programs at http://www.austinfarmersmarket.org/ and http://www.sustainablefoodcenter.org/.

The Austin Farmers' Market is the largest certified growers-only farmers market in the state of Texas. The certification from the Texas Certified Farmers Market Association requires that 51% or more of the vendor base consists of farmers. In 2009, the Saturday market generated estimated sales of $1.2 million, and had more than 104,000 visits. The Wednesday market in 2009 had more than 30,000 visits, with over $360,000 in gross sales. A spin-off effect of more than $1 million was generated by the two markets at surrounding businesses.

Austin Farmers' Market runs year-round on Saturdays at Republic Square Park, 4th and Guadalupe from 9 am - 1pm year-round. Also, Wednesdays at Triangle Park, 4600 Guadalupe at 46th and Lamar from 3 pm - 7 pm (Oct. - March) and 4 pm - 8 pm (April - Sept.). Free parking is available in covered garages and along the streets at both locations immediately adjacent to the market.

Note to media: SFC staff, farmers, and the City of Sunset Valley staff or members of the council are available for interviews. Please contact Clay Collins, the City Administrator at 892-1384, to coordinate interviews with Mayor, council or other City of Sunset Valley staff.

Susan Leibrock
Community Relations Director
Sustainable Food Center
512.236.0074 ext. 111


Ronda Rutledge
Executive Director

Suzanne Santos
Austin Farmers' Market Director
Post a Comment