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Weather-related cancelations impacting vendors at Downtown SLO Farmers' Market

Posted at 10:31 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 02:49:52-05

The Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market returned Thursday night with clear skies.

The Thursday night farmers' market has been canceled four times since November which is much more than last year, and the cancelations have impacted vendors.

The Central Coast has seen a much stormier wet season this year compared to last which has disrupted the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market on multiple occasions.

“We do a ton of different markets, this one’s a pretty good one for us, “said Gilman Carr with Avila & Sons Farms.

More rain is generally good news for farmers, but it has been the flip side for some 100 vendors at the weekly Thursday night market.

“It hurts us with the bad weather and the cancelations, but we get by,” explained Carr.

Winter weather can also be challenging for pop-up businesses that rely on big events like this.

“When your entire business relies on one day a week, it does hit,” said Justin Chan who is the owner of Sequel Cold Brew Tea.

Stormy weather has cut into profits but as the days get longer, businesses say things are looking up.

“We’re excited to have our fans come out on a Thursday because it really does mean a lot to us-- not just from our hearts but the bottom line as well,” said Chan.

The program director for Downtown SLO says it is not an easy decision to call off the Thursday night market.

“Obviously, we had to cancel last week due to the rain which is never a fun call to make,” said Whitney Chaney.

She says that the number of weather-related cancelations is close to normal for this time of year but adds that it seems like a lot after years of drought.

“It’s been a bit more than usual. Last year, I think we did one or two, so it definitely is an uptick,” explained Chaney.

Farmers have also been working hard through wet weather to bring produce to farmers' markets across the central coast.

“They’ve been very resilient and been showing up with all the produce— and props to them because they’ve been doing a lot of hard work in those fields to bring the produce to the market.”

The downtown farmer’s market is now open until 9 p.m. as part of its summer hours.