First Downtown Farmers Market of summer draws thousands to Pioneer Park

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jun 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-13 23:32:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Saturday marked the first market of the summer season for the Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City, and thousands of Utahns came out to shop among the local vendors and walk Pioneer Park.

After its winter hibernation, the market is back for its 24th season.

“So it’s better for the environment, it’s actually better for your body and it supports the local economy, which keeps these farmers alive,” Market Manager Alison Einerson said.

Einerson said several farmers attribute half of their family’s income to the market.

Eighteen years ago, Jorge Fierro began selling homemade, Mexican-style beans at the market. Today, his Rico Brand is in grocery stores all across the state. Fierro runs Rico Brand as well as Frida’s Bistro.

“It’s great because a lot of us really need it,” he said. “There’s not enough jobs for everybody, so being an entrepreneur is really great to have the venue to sustain our families.”

Off the Grid Smoothie and Café is about as green as you can get. Tony Pavlantos peddles a city Green Bike that generates the power needed to run the entire stand.

“For six years we’ve been running off the grid, so we do not tie into the power grid at the market at all,” Pavlantos said. “We create our own energy. We use local companies like Goal Zero solar panels.”

The market features a variety of products, like smoothies, organic produce, freshly baked bread, botanicals, crafts and handmade products—most of which were made by Utahns. Everything at the market comes from within a 250-mile radius of Salt Lake City.

“So everything is grown locally, a lot of things are sourced locally as well, even one of our bread vendors gets all of his flour from a local mill up in Logan,” Einerson said. “So really great family-owned business and the heart of our community.”

The Downtown Farmers Market will be back at Pioneer Park every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it runs through October. And starting in August, the Tuesday night markets will run from 4 p.m. to dusk.

For more information, visit the market’s website.