This is my favorite market in the East Bay. It might not have three or four of the big hitters that the Saturday Berkeley Market has, but it is SOO much more pleasant.
The market is under shaded trees, there is plenty of parking and being Sunday, you don’t have to race to the car to beat the meter people. There are no street people or political things to put up with. There is live music. It is just a totally lovely experience.
The big find for me was Broda farms and their berries. They also had some excellent summer squash (some with flowers attached), tomatoes, and other veggies. Berries were 2 for $5. I bought one of each type:
- black raspberry – subtle raspberry taste, dry berry, in a good way. Very delicate.
- white raspberries – best I’ve ever had, perfectly ripe, juicy and sweet. Beautiful berries with a hint of apricot taste.
- marion berries – plump, juicy tart with a hint of sweetness
- blackberries – huge berries (for a berry), but much too tart. The super ripe berries had an unpleasant backtaste to me
- ollalie berry – juicy and tart yet pleasantly sweet
- raspberries – HUGE red berries, perfect raspberry taste. Highly recommended.
- Blueberries – a nice sweet mid-sized berry with good blueberry taste.
I’m so glad I learned that keeping berries in glass jars keeps them fresh for at least a week.
Serendipity Farms – This is their first farmers market. The woman was really showing pride and enthusiasm about her tomatoes, so this is where I shopped for those. They also had this beautiful purple basil in a stunning shade that had the most wonderful warm, spicy fragrance that is so nice, the bunch is sitting in a glass on my desk right now. The tomatoes were the best looking in the market and there was a new variety I hadn’t heard of before, pink something or another ... wish I could remember the name. Prior to this the farm only sold to Trader Joes and Whole Foods. That might not sound like the best rec, but this was stunning produce straight from the farm and those tomatoes are very tasty. They also has lovely carrots in various colors.
Other vendors and I missed a few -
Pinnacle Organics – melons, tomatoes, greens, and other produce
VB Farms – Organic Strawberries
Mt Marian – nice peaches, plums, nectarines and red flame grapes.
Rainbow Orchards – My favorite apple cider people in California, from Apple Hill. They were just selling blueberries this week. Unfortunately they were the big not too flavorful California type. I’ll wait for the cider and apples.
Happy Boy – GREAT greens & veggies. There were some nice melons this week too
Lucero – those great tomatoes
Kasliwase – produce – didn’t pay close attention
Hamada – I am almost certain they were there
DAIRY AND EGGS
Glaum’s organic free-range eggs – Organic fed diet – hand-gathered.
Spring Hill is there with their cheeses. Didn’t look closely
LaLoo’s is selling all flavors of their goat milk ice cream (vanilla snowflake, black mission fig, deep chocolate, chevre chifton, pumpkin spice, chocolate cabernet, strawberry darling, molasses tipsy cake). ALSO they are now packaging their ice cream in single serving cups ($2). They only have vanilla and chocolate in that size currently. Even though this IS national ice cream month, I have done far too good a job of celebrating it this last week and I could not eat another bite of ice cream. Had to pass on LaLoo’s this week)
Hoda Soy – soy products
I think there was an organic baby food stand in the arts and crafts section. Interested in neither, I didn’t walk over that way.
Very nice flower vendor, but didn't catch their name.
Olinda Ridge Olive oils & olives – Three types of oils, one organic. The two I tried were nice and buttery. I’m sorry I ddn’t buy a bottle now since I bought all those tomatoes and basil and am planning a trip to Cheeseboard for some mozzarella. It was too early in the morning for me to sample olives.
Big Paw – Olive oil and vinegars. I like Big Paw, but I overheard a customer mention that someone at Big Paw died this past year. Not sure who.
Happy Girl – I think Happy Boy split off the canned veggies under a new name
East-West Gourmet – hummus and other sort of things like that. Mid-Eastern bread. The spinach bolan looked good
COFFEE AND PREPARED FOODS\
Roasted corn and potato stand
Philipino food stand
Mi Fiesta Mexican Food
Sukki’s – can you call it a farmers market if Sukki’s isn’t there?
La Marea of the Sea – oysters and clams on the half shell
Andy and Cindy's Thai Cuisine – Here’s Morton the Mousse’s write up on them from the Saturday Berkeley Market
Sternteller – Stollen drops, pretzels European bread. They make excellent soft pretzels. They are also selling pretzel-bites, the size of a donut hole. The stollen drops are hard little biscuit-like cookies that would go well with tea. The ingredients (organic) mention almonds and candied fruit, but the fruit seems more like currants to me.
Greanlea – From San Jose. Famous for their cinnamon bread. It is full of cinnamon. Lots of samples, so you can decide for yourself. They also had some pound cake type of breads.
Bay Breads – YEAH! They are on this side of the bay. They have the almond croissants, many of their breads AND !!! loaves of sliced bread. I bought the sliced sour dough.
Feel Good Bakery – I was kind of bakery-d out by this time. If you are familiar with Feel Good ... here it is.
Bakesale Betty’s – All of Bakesale Betty’s items that don’t need refrigeration.
The only downside was the market manager who has the personality of a Food4less generic potato.
I asked if they might put a little more info about where the market was on the website. I had no clue that Claremont connected to Telegraph. It is that odd street that veers off to the right across from 52nd ... one block up from Bakesale Betty’s. As far as saying it was in the DMV lot ... well, I had no clue there WAS a DMV in that area. This is not my neighborhood. The potato-personality man not only felt EVERYONE knew where this was located, he rolled all his eyes at me ... to my face. It was the only unpleasant part of the farmers market. All I want was a little small map on the website. Is that so difficult? Does that deserve eye-rolling?
That’s ok. Nice job of putting the market together.
Here's the link to the website with address and hours