Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cream of the crop: Davis Farmers Market

Liz Honeysett of Winters, who works in Davis, shops for onions at Lloyd's Produce booth at the Saturday Farmers Market in Central Park. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | May 21, 2013 |

When strolling down the deck of the Davis Farmers Market in Central Park, it’s common to find an abundance of fresh green produce, stuffed into bins and boxes, on display and ready for sale.

That verdant trail, however, can be followed beyond the confines of the market pavilion and on into the downtown, where any “green” leftover in wallets and purses — after the week’s supply of avocados or strawberries has been had — is often spent.

A 2008 Davis Downtown economic study showed that the average marketgoer spent an additional $21 in the Core Area after purchasing whatever he picked up at the market that day, a number that market manager Randii MacNear says has grown over the past half-decade.

With 500,000 people descending upon the park at Fourth and C streets every year to experience one of the top 10 farmers markets in the country, according to US News Travel, local establishments stand to receive quite a bit of residual business.

“There is no doubt that the Farmers Market is a huge boost to our economy on those two days (Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings),” said Davis Downtown co-president Michael Bisch.

“It’s a fantastic community amenity, if not a regional amenity, and along with the community pools, the Farmers’ Market is my kids’ favorite thing to do here in Davis. I’m sure a lot of families feel that way about it.”

It’s for that economic boon, among many other benefits the market offers, that the Davis Farmers Market was named the 17th winner of the Bill Streng Business of the Year Award earlier this month by the Davis Chamber of Commerce.

The honor is bestowed on those businesses in town that “exemplify qualities of excellence, service, innovation and creativity in business, industry or the community.”

MacNear was humbled by the news.

“We have worked really hard to strengthen Davis,” MacNear said last week. “(And) because people like us: the news and the media and organizations … it brings attention to Davis, and it brings tourism to Davis, and it puts Davis in Sunset Magazine and on the national news and we are just thrilled to be able to give that back to the community.”

Aside from the economic benefits that filter out into the downtown and the rest of the city, the Farmers Market lifts up the community from its home in Central Park as well. Supporting and promoting the community were among the criteria the Chamber’s nomination committee had to consider when choosing a winner.

In recent decades,the downtown has been transformed into the city’s undeniable commercial and social center, with the addition of new restaurants, the construction and restoration of movie theaters and a revamped art scene with galleries and regular streetside events.

But there may not be an event in town more social than the Farmers Market, with crowds numbering in the thousands filling up the park twice each week. MacNear said that more than two-thirds of those who attend are from Davis, making it a truly community-oriented event.

“We want to help create community; we take that really seriously,” she said. “Davis values are very community-oriented, they’re very family-oriented, they’re outdoors, they’re healthy, they’re very aware of agriculture … small local businesses, and spending time with each other in the community and (that’s) what keeps them at the market.”

But fostering a sense of community doesn’t end with simply providing a place for residents to meet up and socialize.

In addition to the bustling food and craft stands that line the park, the Farmers Market also carves out space for community organizations to reach out to their neighbors and promote whatever their cause happens to be.

Scattered within those 500 community groups that stake out space at the market each year are organizations like the Yolo County Visitors Bureau and Davis Downtown, whose responsibility it is to further promote Davis and the surrounding cities.

MacNear said she’s thrilled to provide a public outlet for such organizations for the betterment of the community and added that the market does its share of Davis promotion as well.

“When (visitors) come in, we have visitor services available for them at the market, we have maps of Davis, we have bike maps … we have business directories, we have restaurant guides,” MacNear said. “We want them, by them coming to the market, to translate into making the rest of the Davis more successful also.”

The Business of the Year Award is named after Bill Streng, a longtime Davis resident and retired home builder and developer who served as a Chamber board president.

Past recipients include Yolo Federal Credit Union, 2011; Brooks Painting, 2010; Carbahal & Company, 2009; Fleet Feet Sports, 2008; Davis Ace, 2007; First Northern Bank, 2006; University Honda, 2005; Coldwell Banker-Doug Arnold Real Estate, 2004; Nugget Markets, 2003; The Davis Enterprise, 2002; Pyramid Construction, 2001; Davis Waste Removal, 2000; Novo Nordisk Biotech, 1999; Mortgage Resource Network Team at Comstock Mortgage, 1998; Cunningham Engineering, 1997; and AgraQuest, 1996.

MacNear will receive the award on behalf of the Davis Farmers Market at the Chamber’s community luncheon, Tuesday, June 4, at 11:45 a.m. at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St.

Tickets are $18 for Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. Register for the event and buy tickets either on the Chamber’s website at or by calling 530-756-5160.

— Reach Tom Sakash at or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Ag officials predict bumper almond crop

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teens lead the way in fight against cancer

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Victim of fatal crash identified

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Official: Air Algerie flight ‘probably crashed’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    New-home sales plummet in June

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    CSU pumps brakes on enrollment growth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Diplomas all around for professor and sons

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Consumption guidelines for Cache Creek fish updated

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Local singer/songwriter will perform Friday on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Davis Flea hosts night market Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free technology help offered to seniors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Contestants sought for Yolo County Fair Queen contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Parents can learn all about IEPs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Museum sells market bags as fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Colleges woo Native Americans with new programs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Zip Book: Request it, read it, return it

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



    Battle lines are drawn

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Don’t tell me I can’t help him

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Water trains through Davis

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

    Water storage must be a priority

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Act now to support middle school students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6



    UCD coach has navigated a Maze of experiences

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lethargic and roster-thin, Post 77 loses Area 1 opener

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Pence outscores Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Quincy Amarikwa: years in the making

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Area sports briefs: Nelson earns All-Academic honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Youth roundup: Aftershock finishes second in tournament

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Majka makes winning look easy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery



    Name Droppers: Transportation fellowship goes to Aggie

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



    ‘South Pacific’ storyline still making waves

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    ‘The Miracle Worker’ auditions set for WOH

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7





    Death notice: James Thomas Feather

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2



    Comics: Thursday, July 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8