The Dublin Farmer’s Market officially reopened for business April 1 to an increased turnout compared to last season.
“The Dublin market was one of our weaker markets last year during COVID, attendance wise,” said Greg Pursley, regional manager for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association. “It had a fairly good turnout for the opening day.”
While most producers have returned, Pursley said they do have a few less than previous seasons. The market hosts about 16 vendors, with plans to increase that amount to 22 to 24 in the next two to three weeks. Currently, customers are able to enjoy a variety of booths, including fresh kettle corn courtesy of Crispy Pop Kettle Corn, cookies from Passion Pastry, organic produce, and local Bay Area honey.
Passion Pastry out of Dublin is a family business started in 2008 to bring in a second income. The small bakery is back at the farmer’s market for the second year in a row to sell their homemade cookies and marshmallow treats. Parviv Nouridour, one of the sons and owners of Passion Pastry, was happy to be back at the market selling his mom’s creations and interacting with his community.
“I like selling, talking to the people, and seeing their reactions when they first try the cookies,” Nouridour said. “Everyone’s reaction is so different, and it’s pretty cool to experience that.”
Pirate Creek Bees out of Sunol is owned by the Garcia family and specializes in natural honey, including specialty flavors like blackberry and orange blossom, and other products from bee hives. Jim Garcia, one of the founders, said they were excited to be back at the Dublin Farmers’ Market this season for the third year running because of the positive atmosphere and the great food vendors.
“The whole community atmosphere is what makes farmers markets awesome,” Garcia said. “During COVID-19, you lose a lot of that family atmosphere that a lot of us have been used to, so it’s going to be exciting once we can start having live music again and being able to talk to people and customers a lot more.”
Dublin is continuing to follow COVID-19 protocols that were put in place last year to ensure the safety of all customers. According to Pursley, all tents and vendors have adequate space to ensure there is safe distance while customers are standing in line. Customers are also required to wear masks at all times while shopping, and managers have extra disposable masks and hand sanitizer on hand.
“At this time, we are also not allowing anyone to touch the produce,” Pursley said. “So, they would basically select what they want, and the individual working in the stand would then pick out the produce they are selecting and put them in the bag.”
Some COVID-19 protocols have put a hindrance on the sales of some of the vendors’ products. Both Passion Pastry and Pirate Creek Bees cited the lack of samples have hurt their sales.
“People really fall in love with our product after they try it,” Nouridour said. “We can’t give out samples, and that’s what really brought customers in. Our samples are basically our hooks.”
Pursley said the PCFMA will continue to follow health directives with hopes to introduce more things back to the market and welcome back more customers as things continue to open up.
“We’re just getting the word out that we’re open, that the producers are coming back, and that hot food is there that they can get and take home,” Pursley said. “As things open back up with the health department, we’ll progress forward, and hopefully get back to some of the things we were doing before, like music and seating for the hot-food area.”
Passion Pastry, Pirate Creek Bees and the other vendors will be at the Dublin Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., at Emerald Glen Park, until Sept. 30.