In the spirit of entrepreneurial development, the Old Town Farmers Market-Tianguis Cultural (OTFM-TC) “make it, bake it, grow it” vendors celebrated their first Annual Vendor Recognition Awards, in conjunction with the end of a successful fifth season. The goal behind the awards is to recognize those who demonstrated excellence in products, services and volunteerism.

Winners on the following categories received $1,500 pesos gift certificates for branding and marketing:

MAKE IT: Chantel~Vintage Spoon Jewelry 

Owner Chantel Mann, a former real estate agent, was on her way out of town after the market crashed. Serendipitously she applied to the market. Her business has grown with featured items in exclusive shops around Mexico. Today Mann is still a vital part of the Vallarta community.  

BAKE IT: Cacahuate Carlos 

Owners Carlos Valdivia and Lisa Gilroy have grown their business from a tiny table and 3 kinds of peanuts into a market favorite. Multiple peanut flavors, cookies, brittle and 5 different nut butters—Cacahuate Carlos has it all!

GROW IT: Hortalizas Palomera 


Growers Jose Luis Palomera and Alejandra Farjas have 5 hectares on which they grow herbs, greens and gourmet baby veggies. As one of the few small farms in the area, Hortalizas Palomera has supplied produce for area restaurants for 14 years.

Services: Bahia Chiropractic 

Dr. Erik Fulfer, a third generation, board certified chiropractor, adjusts patients from all over the world underneath his shaded OTFM-TC tent. For house calls, call 322-182-5045.

Other community members who have enhanced the quality of life for marginalized groups were also recognized:

Community Builder: Cherie Verber 

Verber along with her partner Pam Alexandra and their friend Mary Jacobs provide English, sewing and art classes out of their home for the young and young at heart. Cheri also mentors two of the market’s Young Entrepreneur Program vendors, Mireya Amaral (Poder de Niña/Girl Power) and Abraham Amaral (Casa de Muñecas/The Doll House) who share their artisan talents with international shoppers.  

Market Supporter: Bruce Bing 

Bing has supported the market from its earliest days by buying produce and cheeses directly from the vendors for his three Vallarta-based restaurants. He is also known to have vendors create special products exclusively for his dining patrons. Bing donates in many ways, one of which was giving seed money to Young Entreprenuer Mireya Amaral to buy her first sewing machine. 

Volunteer: Bill Hegelund 

A volunteer since the first season, Hegelund’s dedication has made a huge impact on the success of the market. He arrives each Saturday well before any of the vendors and jumps in to help with a myriad of details ranging from set up to take down. 

Non-Profit: Ballenarte Puerto Vallarta 

Founded in 1996 by Astrid Frisch, this nonprofit focuses on the research, preservation and surveillance of Humpback whales in Banderas Bay. Their internationally award-winning work has been instrumental in the educating the public and increasing the quality of life for these magnificent mammals. ballenartepv@gmail.com

Although the OTFM-TC closes during the summer months, many of these vendors will continue to provide products and services, so visit their website for contact information. Located in Lázaro Cárdenas Park, the OTFM-TC is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 2 pm from the first Saturday in November to May 17. For more information, visit them on www.oldtownfm.com or Facebook