By the Bay

Farmers markets are plenty by the ocean

Special to The TribuneOctober 14, 2013 

Judy Salamacha

One of the joys of living on the Central Coast is finding farm fresh, even organic fresh fruits and veggies at a farmers market any day of the week. Although Cayucos recently concluded its Friday morning summertime markets, Baywood Park’s market is each Monday afternoon on First Avenue, and Morro Bay has two — Thursday afternoon at Spencer’s Market and Saturday afternoon on Main Street at Harbor.

One way to support the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce and Business Center is by buying products from vendors, suggested chief executive officer Craig Schultz. “Saturday’s market is a major fund-raiser for us. We hope to welcome more vendors to expand the market. Our goal is to showcase farmers’ products and hand-made gifts.”

Bob Simeone has been Morro Bay’s market manager for about three years and a vendor at multiple markets throughout the county for 25 years. He and his wife have also owned and operated Allocco’s Bakery in Cambria for 25 years.

“I’ve had a passion and personal interest in the operation and success of these wonderful outlets for our farmers to sell their produce and for people like myself to take locally made products direct to communities. Farmers markets give the everyday person a chance to buy fresh food and get to know who grew or produces the food they eat,” Simeone said.

Each Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., the market spans Main Street between Harbor and Morro Bay Boulevard and rounds Harbor west to Rabobank’s parking lot, which allows for parking.

Simeone said he believes the market offers distinct attractions. “How many cities can boast their own pirate? The kids love their pictures taken with Morro Bay’s pirate. We have a meat cutter who has great big dog bones for sale. Street musicians will drop by and play a variety of music. A favorite at Allocco’s tent is our big cookie. And we have organic fruits and veggies, fresh orange juice, oatmeal, nuts, jewelry, potted plants, caramel corn, yard art, knitted and crocheted goods, soap, lavender, olives and jams, breads, fresh guacamole and chips and more. We just added Italian ices.”

The city is working with a new owner at Main and Morro Bay Boulevard who will offer public restrooms and a staging area for music.

“I love the people I work with,” he said. “I love what I do, and I’m dedicated to making this market the best it can be for all participants. It’s for them and for the community. Revenues have continued to increase over the past couple of years, which is an excellent sign we are moving in the right direction.”

For more information, go to www.morrobay.org.

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.

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