The Old Town Farmers’ Market-Tianguis Cultural vendors are busily “making, baking, and growing” in preparation of two key events: the move to one of Vallarta’s most notable town squares and opening day: November 2. After four years of working with city officials, the OTFM-TC will now fill Lazaro Cárdenas Park in Colonia Emliano Zapata with everything from just-picked produce and organic coffee to freshly baked breads and artisan chocolates.
The new location will be easily accessible for locals and tourists who want to shop and socialize every Saturday from November through May. Market Coordinator Daniela Sanchez is quick to note that everyone’s favorite producers, entertainers, and services will be on site.
“Last season, we had 90 producer-only vendors,” Sanchez says. “Now, we can invite more area producers to join our Saturday line-up. We’ll also be introducing some fun, creative ideas to promote the community.”
Fresh from their North American Farmers’ Market tour, the OTFM-TC team has a long list of ideas guaranteed to promote responsible food production, entrepreneurial development, and the “buy local” movement.
“The Market was established on these three principles,” says Sanchez. She credits Charlotte Semple, the OTFM-TC founder, for blending Mexico’s longtime outdoor market tradition with the “back to the land” movement. It was in 2010 that Semple teamed up with fellow community leaders who understood the ethical and economical significance of a “make it, bake it, grow it” option.
Semple, a handful of volunteers, and 30 vendors joined forces to get the OTFM-TC up and running within two weeks. It was a hit. Today, the Market is a Vallarta hotspot. An estimated 100,000 visitors stop by each season for home made salsa’s, specialty meats, baked goods, local cheese, freshly squeezed juices, fruit, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, musical instruments, healing oils, greeting cards, skincare products and home accessories. They also pick up tasty pre-made snacks and “eat to the beat” of international entertainers.
“This season promises to be a record-breaking,” says Sanchez. “And we’re going to kick it all off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.”
Everyone is invited to join in the celebration at 9:30 on Saturday, November 2. Hot chocolate and Pan de Muertos will be served. As the season continues, the OTFM-TC team will be adding new events. One of which is the new chef demonstration area. Visitors will be able to pick up culinary secrets while sampling flavorful dishes.
Interested chefs and local producers are invited to pick up an application at the Market’s Information Booth in Lazaro Cárdenas Park. T-shirts and eco-friendly shopping bags will be on sale. With a new location and fresh ideas, this season’s OTFM-TC will be an unforgettable weekend attraction, blending Mexican tradition and culture with a North American style market. For more information, visit www.oldtownfm.com.