Almost 20 years ago, five women wanted to bring vibrancy to downtown Menlo Park.
“Menlo Park was almost a ghost town on Sunday morning,” said Margaret Carney, president of the Menlo Park Live Oak Lions Club. They got together and decided to create a space where local farmers could sell clean, high-quality food.
“We wanted to bring energy and healthy food choices to the community,” she said.
There were only two restaurants in town at the time, said Nancy Couperus, Farmers Market co-founder.
“Both of them were Chinese,” she said. The women didn’t want to compete with those business. Rather they wanted to attract more restaurants to downtown Menlo Park.
This Sunday, the Menlo Park Farmers Market will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary in the parking lot on Chestnut Street between Santa Cruz and Menlo Avenues. The Menlo Park Live Oak Lions, the market’s sponsor, will be presenting each farmer with a commemorative book, Couperus said.
“To let them know how much their participation over the years has been appreciated,” she said. “Over half of our current farmers have been with the Market since the beginning in 1992,” she elaborated.
During that time, they’ve donated about 600,000 pounds of food to charitable organizations who share the food with families in need.
The market opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m.