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Mar 11, 2011 10:01 AM

Marin Homegrown Market -- anyone been?

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  1. haven't been to marin homegrown. doubt it would be much different than new taste marketplace or foragesf. they are all "underground" markets. underground in the sense the health departments aren't involved in regulating them.

    1. We visited in Sausalito at a prior date. Many very tasty item produced by ultra small businesses.
      Unusual, healthy cookies, jams, jellies, sauces, etc. Vendors change from time to time, but almost all are excellent. It's worth a visit if you are nearby. Be sure to stop by the Farmers Market that day as well. Located behind the Civic Center.

      1. How can they charge $5 admission at the same time as the huge, free market is going on two miles away at the Marin Civic Center?

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          1) because they can. you don't have to go there. if you want to, it will cost you $5.
          2) as a deterrant to nonserious buyers who show up just for the freebies.
          3) to defray cost of renting building
          4) to have an illusion of being open to members only. only preregistered members can attend. same members have knowingly acknowledged vendors at market were not subject to health department oversight.
          5) revenue source for marin homegrown market? (to cover overhead)

          1. re: wolfe

            foragesf has been doing this for at least a year. new taste maketplace, about 5 months, is a fund raiser for the food pantry. food pantry gives away food weekly.

            doubt any of these groups are for-profit gigs. fees are to cover administrative fees plus.
            granted, it isn't a traditional for-profit business plan, but it's an alternative model that covers cost (plus?)

            plus plan exempts vendors from health department regs and permit requirements.

            1. re: shanghaikid

              If this were a fundraiser, which is what it reads like, it wouldn't seem so odd.

          2. re: Robert Lauriston

            Good question Robert. Marin Farmers Market is my local shopping venue of choice and it would be close to overkill to do both in one Sunday morning/noon. Previously Marin Homegrown has been in Sausalito and on Saturday. Am not familiar with new location. Here is my report on previous visit to Marin Homegrown.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              First off, I have no affiliation with the Homegrown Market, I'm just a member. When you sign up for your free membership, they send a coupon via email, so the cost is $4. Once in, the samples are large and extremely high-quality. Because the food is made in smaller batches without as many restrictions, I have found it in general to be higher-quality and more interesting than the Marin Farmers Market. By the way, the new location is the Marin Fencing Club on 4th St., and it is very easy to park and move through the building. The vendors are often home enthusiasts who could not get into their local farmers market, or do not have the money to invest for start-up and ongoing fees. The huge, free Farmers Market at MCC is in no way open to new or experimental vendors. I fact, they told me not to even bother submitting an application. Really.

              Every HM vendor I have met has been very happy to talk about their product, and often discuss the recipe. I think it's a great opportunity to get out there and try new foods and support folks in or around the community in turning their passion into a business endeavor.

              I find the two markets to be somewhat complementary. HM is great for baked goods and prepared foods, and I plan on eating lunch there when I go. This has included Cincinnati Chili, African stew, and shrimp dumplings. Last month there was chocolate pop rocks candy, and really, really good rugelach. Someone else made terrific varietal ketchups and jams. In contrast, the Marin Farmers Market is where I shop for produce or locally-sourced meats. I would prefer that more of the Farmers Market vendors be local, but the demographic seems to be shifting in the other direction.

              Anyway, I would encourage a visit to the HG if you're in the area.

              1. re: TerriL

                was at the recent HM event and it seem sparsely attended by "guests". was there i-ish, since this was the first HM for me, can't compare vendor participation with others.

                vendor and guest participation is higher at foragesf and new taste marketplace in s.f. didn't see any "name" vendors at HM.

                the setup is too fish bowlish for me. i prefer vendors to be spread out. ..
                parking not a problem.