Bustling voices, the smell of fresh strawberries and the distant sound of live street performers. After more than a year of being closed due to COVID-19 safety regulations, the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market welcomed this experience once more, opening for visitors on Thursday, May 6.
The grand re-opening of the Farmers’ Market took place from 6 to 9 p.m. with modified safety regulations. Masks were required at all times and no food or drink consumption was allowed on the main pathway of the market.
If visitors are seen entering without a mask, a Farmers’ Market official, like Farmers’ Market Manager Whitney Chaney, will provide them with one.
“There are a lot of new restrictions in place so we really wanted to start off on a good foot and do this right,” Chaney said an hour after opening. “I think we’ve been doing great, everybody has been super compliant.”
Audio by Marcus Cocova
In this first phase of reopening, only county certified Farmers’ Market vendors are allowed to be onsite.
One of these vendors is Two Peas in a Pod, original central coast berry farmers who have been selling homegrown jams and beans at the Downtown Farmers’ Market for more than 36 years.
“We were almost not going to come because we thought no one would be here,” said Zach Nichols, who runs the booth alongside his mother, said. “But we’ve been busy and everyone’s been happy.”
Video by Matthew Bornhorst and Sofia Silvia
Amanda Lundquist, a 2020 English graduate who has been going to the Farmers’ Market throughout her years as a student, was excited to visit.
“It brings back a lot of memories and it’s exciting to see a lot of Cal Poly students experience it again,” she said.
Jessica Ayo is an architecture freshman who had not previously been to the Farmers’ Market, but was interested in going after hearing all about it from her upperclassmen swim teammates.
“Seeing a lot more people out here is really enjoyable,” she said. “Whenever I came and toured campus I saw how busy it was and I was excited to see it like that again.”
Farmers’ Market will continue to be open every Thursday with modified safety regulations as San Luis Obispo moves through the county tiers. Currently, San Luis Obispo is in the orange tier with a moderate case rate. For updated information on the phases of Downtown Farmers’ Market visit their homepage.