BERKELEY, Calif. —The Berkeley Farmers’ Market has been a hotspot for organic foods, coffee, live music and flowers. The market has about 65 vendors, each stand different from the other.
Wendy Siguenza, a local vendor for the organic juice company Beet Generation recently spent her first Saturday at the Berkeley Farmer’s market behind her stand at one end of the Center Street event that mixes food, entertainment and ecology education.
“Everything is organic There is no sugar or water added and nothing sits longer than an hour,” she said of the juices she makes to order.
She has worked at Beet Generation for four years and wasn’t involved with organic foods before the company. Now, she said, “It’s healthy; it’s what I feed my daughter.”
Red Bay Coffee
Freshly brewed and new to Oakland’s coffee scene, Red Bay Coffee Roasters set up shop at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market with bold roasts and bold messages. The brewery roasts coffee from beans that derive from Africa, Asia and Brazil.
Red Bay employees said they stand for fair wages and treatment for all employees. Harrison Seuga, a driver for Red Bay, felt so moved by what this company stood for that he quit his previous job to work for the brewery. He said, “…they had a social mission and they did personal research to support small businesses.” Red Bay offers paid work training and positions to ex-convicts as a way to re-introduce them to society.
Blue Heron Farms
Blue Heron Farms is among one of the more well-known stands at this market. Employees bring organic fresh fruits and vegetables to sell each week. Kelly Brown and Sorai Fox, both managers of the floral section, said they do not use pesticides to grow these flowers.
Brown said the main reason people think they are allergic to flowers is because of the pollen they emit, but it is actually the pesticides that stay on these flowers after being picked. She said, “Flowers don’t produce pollen after being cut, so when people try our flowers they come back for more because they don’t get allergies.”
Blue Heron strongly supports the notion that flowers play an important role in daily life rather than just a beautiful addition to an area’s decor. There is more of an importance to flowers than meets the eye. Fox said, “Without flowers, there are no pollinators.”