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San Benito
July 13, 2024

Downtown Farmers Market kicks off Wednesday

One of Hollister’s most cherished traditions will return Wednesday with the start of the Hollister Downtown Association’s Certified Farmers’ Market.

The Hollister Downtown Association-organized market runs Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on San Benito Street between Fourth and Seventh streets until Sept. 26, with no market July 4.

The market will feature 90 vendors selling selling the signature produce along with prepared foods, flowers, organic and gluten-free selections, specialty baked goods, local olive oils and honey, sausages, fresh seafood, BBQ and more, according to the HDA. Visitors can also find handcrafted items, information booths, live entertainment and activities for children.

Every year, new vendors join the selection. Some of the new vendors this year include Epicenter Wine Room, Hollister Caramel Co. and Tourist Hat Coffee Co.

Tourist Hat co-owner Steve Chase said the local coffee brewer started in late 2017 and is looking forward to the Hollister market.

“We’re really excited about the farmers market just to get our name out there to a broader audience,” Chase said. “Right now we’re planning on bringing four different types of coffee.”

Tourist Hat will offer samples to customers as well, he said.

Chase is familiar with the market as a perusing customer and from past efforts as part of the “Save the Music” campaign years ago to bring music programs back to the Hollister School District. As for the business, Chase had been brewing coffee varieties for himself, “and then I started giving some out and people wanted to give me money for it and pay me for it.”

He went on: “We’re excited to share our coffee with more people in Hollister.”

Here’s a brief video tour of the Hollister farmers market in 2017. Story continues below. 

Also new this year, the San Benito County Arts Council will host a Drop-in DIY Lab during the certified Farmers’ Market each Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at ARTspace Annex, 217 Fifth St. The drop-in DIY Lab is only $5 per student and is open to ages 5 years old and up. Stephanie Skow, the presenting artist, will help the students explore different arts and craft techniques, tools, styles and themes in a free, creative and playful format. Each student will create his or her own unique artwork and will develop their creative interests at their own pace.

Additionally, the event is sponsored by the San Benito Health Foundation, and the Kids Area is sponsored by C&N Tractors. With the live entertainment, it will be RGN Production’s DJ Rori on the south end and Tim Moon on the north end.

Keep in mind, meanwhile, that parking is free at the Briggs Building, and there are no pets allowed in the market area as part of the municipal code.

Vendor applications for the market are still being accepted. See the HDA website to download an application at downtownhollister.org or stop by the office at 514 Monterey St. For information about sponsoring the market, contact Marijke Davis at HDA at (831) 636-8406 or by email at [email protected].

Market History

The Hollister Certified Farmers’ Market held in Downtown Hollister from May through September each year, can trace its beginning back to 1987 when Allan and Kathy Ritter and a volunteer committee comprised of Ron Rodriguez, John Light, Gordon Machado, Arnold Recalde and Linda Recalde held the first market in downtown Hollister on Sixth Street, between San Benito and Monterey Streets.

Over the subsequent years, the market, which has not operated continually since it began, has been located in a variety of locations including the parking lot in front of the Coronet Store on Airline Hwy. (1989) and on East Street in downtown, it was located on the 400 block of San Benito Street and on Fifth Street between San Benito and Monterey Streets for several years. The market was moved to San Benito Street, between Fourth and Seventh Streets, for the 2014 season, at which point tremendous growth was realized.

The Hollister Downtown Association has been managing the market since 2004.