Community forms bonds within farmers’ market

Street Spirit Newspaper.
Photo by Jolie Ebadi

BERKELEY Calif. — The downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market is an ongoing tradition within the small community. All around the neighborhood, people look forward to coming to see the vibrant colors, diverse group of people, different produce, street performers and most important, the relationships and friends they have made over the years.

Anthony King, a spirited man selling Street Spirit newspapers, had much to say about what he thought about the market and community at Berkeley. “Here you meet a lot of different people, from a lot of different places.”

Etanna Sack, who works at Octoberfeast Bakery, had been an artist and writer before picking up a weekend job at the market for about the last seven years.

Etanna Sack.
Photo by Ramsey Frank

Sack described the bakery as a mother-daughter duo and a “women-run bakery,” making authentic, organic German bread and pastries. “It feels like family working for them. I look forward coming to work every day,” Sack said.

Sacks’ daughters also have gained much from the family-oriented business. “My daughter had become a foodie herself growing up around the bakery,” she said, and baked for the family this summer.

She said the community at the farmers’ market was her home and her family, not only the venders that come every weekend, but also the customers as well.

“I feel like community has become lost in American culture. Coming here, I work for people, not a corporation. I know my customers on a first-name bases and treat them like human beings rather than a number,” she said.

Sack said she never had such a market in her hometown.

“It makes me tear up a bit,” she said, adding that “everyone here is family. Some jobs I dreaded coming to, but this one, if I won the lottery, I would still come to this job. This is my home.”