Extended run for farmers market

The downtown farmers market will be open a month longer this season due to popular demand, the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce has announced.

This year’s season of sales for grower-direct produce will extend four more Sundays through December 17, instead of closing the Sunday before Thanksgiving, in hopes of catching shoppers searching for fresh produce for their holiday meals, officials said last week.

The Chamber-run market, which typically runs May through November, opened a decade ago in a parking lot on Howard Avenue. Three years ago, the city granted permission to close Park Avenue onSundays for the growing market.

“There has been a huge plea from customers and vendors to keep it open,” Chamber CEO Georgette Naylor said. “So we’re giving it a try.”

Any resulting boom in holiday business for the so-called Howard Avenue area, now dubbed south of Burlingame Avenue or SoBA, would also be a plus for business owners and city officials hoping to make the street a more vibrant connector to Burlingame Avenue.

Naylor said that retail vendors offering everything from dried fruit to cheese to jewelry and crafts might see a boost in business if holiday shoppers cross items off their gift lists as well as their grocery lists.

“People always spill out and utilize the businesses surrounding the market,” Councilman Russ Cohen said. “So I encourage us to make the farmers market as vibrant as we possibly can.”

Vendors hand-picked by the Chamber will continue to offer bushels of winter produce that include pomegranates, squash, apples, pears and oranges. Baked goods available in the morning typically draw a rush of early weekend risers.

Burlingame is one of nine other San Mateo County cities, from Daly City down to Menlo Park, with certified farmers markets.

“It’s really very nice,” said Bonnie Keeley, employee at clothing store Meyer-Bunje on Lorton Avenue. “There’s a nice selection at the market. It’s a chance to talk about food. Adults and kids all go. It’s a good feeling, that’s for sure.”

The market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 17.

tramroop@examiner.com

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