Get to know your AS Farmers Market vendors

By Paige Francis

The Associated Students (AS) Farmers Market was full of students eager to get flowers, baked potatoes, and hummus on Aug. 31. The farmers market at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is one of the most anticipated events on campus; it happens every week on Thursdays, providing students with an opportunity to get fresh produce and support local businesses. 

Each market will typically feature five to seven vendors. A few of the vendors this week included Santa Rosa Flowers, La Boba y El Grano de Café, Hummus Heaven, and Ivan’s Baked Potatoes. 

“It’s pretty awesome to be back at CSUMB,” said Diana Solorio-Rodriguez, a CSUMB alumna and owner of La Boba y El Grano de Cafe. “When I was a student, I would’ve loved to have a farmers market like this because CSUMB is kind of secluded. You either have to drive somewhere or take the bus, so it’s awesome that you guys get this once a week.” 

Solorio-Rodriguez’s schedule typically varies, but she always posts where she will be vending on her Instagram, @labobayelgranodecafe. On Thursdays, she sells at Carmel and on Sundays, she sells at the Watsonville Flea Market. Despite the cold, she was in good spirits on Thursday, singing along to music while making her boba drinks.

Santa Rosa Flowers also made a stop at the CSUMB farmers market, selling vibrant and aromatic flowers. While talking to Ruth Rangel, she didn’t miss a beat wrapping bouquets in newspapers and exchanging money with students. Rangel’s business is based in Watsonville but she also sells at markets all over Monterey and San Francisco.

All the vendors at the CSUMB market are notified by a vendor the school has a contract with, when they can come and sell on campus. That “lead” vendor “told us he wanted us to come to the market so we can sell flowers for you guys. I like to come and sell flowers … for your rooms, for events, whatever you do!” said Rangel.

Gloria Panuco-Torres, SELD Office and Service Analyst, oversees the farmers market and does all the logistics for the event. Panuco-Torres explained that the school has contracted the lead vendor and told him what vendors the school would like to have at the event each week. He is the link between CSUMB and the vendors, looking for businesses that college students will love. 

Surveys have also been conducted to find out what students want to see at the farmers market. Panuco-Torres emphasizes, “The market has been here since 2019, so the students, faculty, and staff have gotten used to some particular vendors and we try to really pull vendors from the community.” As for the future of the AS Farmers Market, on every last Thursday of the month, the market will have a theme. 

Last year, tote bags were handed out to students to participate in the school’s sustainability plan. “If [students] bring the tote bags every week, they’re entered into a raffle at the end of the semester.” Additionally, Lotería will be played on Sept. 14, during Hispanic Serving Institutions week. 

The overall ambiance of the farmers market was lively; students were buying multiple bouquets and sitting at the picnic tables eating food and sharing laughs. Students can come out to the Associated Students Farmers Market every Thursday from 2 – 6 p.m.

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