Every Saturday in the Union Plaza district of Downtown El Paso (DTEP), local food vendors, regional farmers, artisan craftsmen and artists assemble their displays at booths as part of the weekly Artist and Farmers Market. The market run by the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) since 2011 successfully attracts patrons on a weekly basis to the area. Almost secretly tucked away behind businesses on Anthony Street such as, The Garden, Tabla, and the Darkhorse Tavern, the market is a family friendly event bustling with local talent and food.
With the weather quickly warming, the Artist and Farmers Market is now in full swing and ready to offer a variety of programming with local vendors to keep you interested through the year.
As you walk through the wide Anthony Street, you’ll see people young and mature, some even walking their dogs enjoying the scents emanating from food trucks and artisanal foods.
The food trucks to look forward to this Saturday, (March 5, 2016) are Sweet Addiction, The Tap on Wheels, Panini Bus, and Kona Ice Southern El Paso.
But the food trucks aren’t the only place you can snag some great food. Steve and Lynn Chavira owners of Loco Tote Jerky make 57 different beef jerky flavors utilizing the local market produce. Touting themselves as “The home of the hottest jerky in town,” Steve and Lynn have kept their relationship warm over the years too. “We were childhood sweethearts and have now been married for thirty-eight years. We are a small Mom and Pop shop, with the help of our daughter and we love to see smiles on our customer’s faces when they try our jerky,” said Lynn.
Coffee is a year-round thing and can almost be called a cultural phenomenon around the world. Newcomer to the market and owner of Bean Type Coffee Roasters, Arleen Mendez is passionate about her coffee.
“Several years ago my sister brought the theme of healthy living into our lives, especially organic and fresh food. My husband is a coffee fiend but I also realized that each shot of coffee was a shot of pesticides too, so while in Seattle I started to do some research. The kind of coffee we are offering is organic and freshly roasted. If it’s not freshly roasted the nutritional value is not the same since a lot of coffee can sit on shelves for months,” Arleen told us.
“My family talked about the farmer’s market a lot, and my Dad and Sister want to open a booth too. Everyone’s got a soul, and I feel everyone should express it, and at the Art Market, that soul is honored,” she said.
Other vendors include healthy food advocates like The Green Ingredient, photographer Ruben Gomez and Elizabeth Dominguez of Hueco Valley Soaps and Lotions, who also uses the local market produce (carrots and cucumbers) in a couple of her body care products. She tells us, “The market is a really laid back, consumer and vendor friendly arena. It’s helped me to meet interesting people of all ages, nationalities, local and out-of-towners that have stopped by to ask questions.”
This weekend celebrates International Women’s Day (Saturday, March 5, 2016) with live music and poetry featuring Nancy Lorenza Green and the Disciples. There will be a Community Resource Fair with the UTEP Women’s and Gender Studies Department, Latinitas, and the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas – El Paso Chapter.
This weekend also marks the return of Saturday Health and Wellness workshops with free yoga at 11 a.m.
So, stop by anytime between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for over 45 local artists, artisanal craftsmen, produce, food cottage vendors, and an art workshop by Dave “Grave” Herrera.
For more information visit http://mcad.elpasotexas.gov/art-and-farmers-market