It all began in 1997 as a community-building effort by a group of highly motivated neighbors with a mission: to connect central eastside Portland residents with Oregon farmers. It has expanded into a year-round farmers market that offers a place for neighbors to meet up and explore a wonderful variety of local products from over 50 vendors each week! This May marks the beginning of our 20th season in the Hollywood neighborhood.
Frank Battilega of Big B Farm, one of seven founding farmers, describes the value of investing the significant time, effort and equipment to showcase his produce at the market. For him, connecting with the customer is most important and at the Hollywood Farmers Market he finds out immediately what people like and what they want. Other farms that have been with the market for almost 20 years include Happy Harvest Farm, Liepold Farms, Gales Meadow Farm, Rossi Farms, and Persephone Farm. Overall, the Hollywood Farmers Market has had an 85% rate of vendor return year-to-year.
This continuity of our vendor community translates to a better market experience for all folks who come each week. You can depend upon a great interaction with vendors who really care about their products. This year we have some fabulous new businesses participating, such as Portland Juice Company,Umi Organic, and Stoneboat Farm.
We strive for that “Goldilocks”-sized farmers market: large enough to offer a wide selection of quality products, but not so busy and crowded that it makes Saturday morning food shopping stressful. It has been intentionally designed as a gathering place for the community. David Summers, resident of Irvington and longtime Hollywood Farmers Market shopper, comes to the market explicitly “to meet up with friends; every time I go I usually run into 2 or 3 people I know.”
To mark this 20 year milestone, Hollywood Farmers Market will unveil a new logo and signage that represents the unique quality of today’s farmers market experience: a great selection of seasonal produce, meats and cheeses, fabulous prepared dishes, and great local products from tasty sauces and jams to beautiful cut flowers.