Farmers’ Market has recently opened up space for businesses located outside of downtown San Luis Obispo to display their merchandise during the Thursday night festivities.
Seating for one hundred people has also been added along Broad Street. Both changes were implemented in July.
The change to add outside businesses was implemented to diversify Farmers’ Market, said Diana Cotta, event coordinator for the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association, which oversees all city special events.
Businesses that are permanent members, meaning that they are headquartered within a designated downtown perimeter, still have top priority for space, Cotta said.
The Downtown Association has also been careful not to add businesses that may intrude on current members, she said. Rather, they look to add unique businesses that Farmers’ Market doesn’t have already.
“If you continue to diversify, it will encourage people to come down. That will help everyone,” Cotta said.
The Cakery, located off Foothill Drive, has been one of the recent additions. Owner Yarrow Morse said people who didn’t know her business existed have come up to her each week since she has been displaying at Farmers’ Market.
“We love being downtown. I don’t think we’re stepping on anyone’s toes, we’re just adding to what’s there,” Marrow said.
Cotta said the additional seating has been received well by the community. Last Thursday, the area of Broad Street was at full capacity.
“I’ve been here when we couldn’t find a seat except on the sidewalk. I’m delighted with being able to sit at a table. It’s a great improvement,” said Margaret Koresko, a Paso Robles resident who visits Farmers’ Market a few times a year.
Electrical engineering senior Chris Chen said there could be even more seating, but added, “It’s a lot nicer.”
In addition, Farmers’ Market will introduce a main stage Nov. 16 on Nipomo and Higuera streets. Cotta said the stage will be elevated and fitted with lights in hopes of attracting people to the less trafficked area of Farmers’ Market. Local reggae group Resination will be the first act to perform on the stage.
The Farmers’ Market happens every Thursday night on Higuera Street between Osos and Nipomo streets.