Farmers Market Update – August 2022

by Dan Foster

AIM CEO, Andy Naja-Riese, was the Guest Speaker at the Oakland Rotary Club’s Civic Thursday meeting last week. Topics covered included the challenges facing farm operators particularly in the face of the pandemic and global warming; AIM’s efforts to support farms and food preparers who are from minority communities; the Grand Lake Markets ongoing programs that make wholesome locally grown produce accessible for low-income individuals and families and lots more. A video of the entire meeting is available on this link but, if you want to skip to Ruth Stroup’s introduction of Andy, fast-forward to the thirty-minute mark.

New Grand Lake Farmers Market Interactive Map available on AIM’s website:
To access the map, click on this link and then scroll down until you find the map, where you can do any of the following
  • Change the date to view the folks expected to attend on that given date (or who attended on a past date) – please note, the map is updated as new information comes in, so if you look at upcoming weeks, it might not be totally accurate.
  • Type in the search bar to find specific vendors or products
  • Click on a vendor’s location to view their public profile (this includes dates of planned attendance, contact info, pictures, and more)
Market Participant Spotlight:

  • Tha MF’n Vegan – Tha MF’n Vegan is creating Smack’n Nourishing Plant-Powered/ Vegan food and beverages. We are bringing a new look, new style and new taste to healthy! Our menu is food allergy friendly (Soy-free, Nut-Free, Gluten-free Options), and we make our meat alternative (jackfruit) in house as well. We source majority of our produce from local farmers (Organic/ Pesticide-Free) and we know that you don’t have to compromise taste for nutritional value and vice versa. Started July 30.
  • kubé  kubé is a Black woman-owned, vegan, artisanal, full-fat coconut ice cream womanfacturer and social enterprise in Oakland, California. We produce our own full-fat, coconut cream by cold-pressing organic mature coconuts to make the BEST TASTING and most luxurious, creamy, and vibrant creamy vegan ice cream. We only use real mama earth seeds, fruit, roots, espresso, and citrus oils to make the most clean and vibrant flavors. No synthetic chemicals ( No Sodium Metabisulfite), no artificial flavors or colors, no soy, and no gluten. – Starting 8/13!
  • Annie’s T Cakes – Asian American, woman-owned snack company creating vegan, East Asian treats

Market Manager August Produce Picks:

  • Feather River Farms – Red Seedless Watermelons
  •  Raised Roots – Armenian Cucumbers
  •  Oya Organics (which started July 30) – Early Girl Dry Farmed Tomatoes
August Entertainment Schedule:

New Market Participant Pipeline (these folks are confirmed to join but we do not have a firm start date yet):

  • Juicy Bottle Service – cold pressed, small batch bottled juices
  • Kayma Foods – Algerian wife‑and‑husband‑owned eatery that welcomes you with halal North African fare with Bedouin, Berber, Mediterranean, and French influences—such as hearty and flavorful soups and sandwiches, grilled chicken, and baklawa.
  • Encina Farms – dedicated to growing Iberico hogs with the utmost attention paid to quality standards and leveraging new practices with no hormones or antibiotics. We incorporate traditional Spanish practices and methods, such as finishing our hogs on a diet of acorns to improve the flavor and nutritional profile. The richer, more complex and interesting flavor truly differentiates our product from what else you find on the market.
  • Silver Sky Ranch – a brother-owned ranching operation focused on pastured proteins. We raise cattle for beef, sheep for lamb, and chickens for egg and meat.
  • Mill Valley Pasta Co. – makes small batch artisan bronze- and brass-cut pastas and various products meant to adorn or accompany pasta. Our pastas are made with organic semolina (gluten-free pasta is also available) and are slowly dried in open-air for superior bite and texture. Our provisions are made with local ingredients, often sourced from the local farms that also vend at the markets we attend. Our fresh pastas are made only hours before they make their way to market and feature unique flavors highlighting both the chef’s inspiration, seasonality, and locally available products.
  • Rize Up Bakery – a fledgling San Francisco-based, Black-owned bakery focused on reinventing and rethinking traditional sourdough. Rize Up started as a quarantine project in Spring 2020, born in response to the social unrest caused by the murder of George Floyd and the disparate impact of the pandemic on the Black community. Founder Azikiwee Anderson was overcome with a need to make a difference and hopefully inspire young Black and Brown bakers to think outside the traditional box as representation matters . Rize Up wants to change the world one loaf of beautiful and thoughtful bread at a time, and share our love of delicious, thoughtfully baked breads made with natural, organic , sustainable, high quality ingredients! Honored to feed your soul.
  • Dooryard Provisions – a small batch, locally packaged food business focusing on seasonal and hand-foraged foods. Choose between local seaweeds, herbal tisanes, healing spice blends, and provisions for your journey or every day. Dooryard Provisions uses all organic ingredients and focuses on using seasonal, foraged and gleaned foods as well as sourcing from local farmers throughout Sonoma and Marin counties.
  • Brundo Spice Company – an Ethiopian women-owned company that prioritizes sustainable and equitable business practices, from our farm to your kitchen. From Modjo, to North Oakland, to you — we are committed to bringing the highest quality goods from Ethiopia and show the world the beauty of East African cuisine through heirloom spices and herbs. All of our products are imported directly from our processing facility in Modjo, Ethiopia, where they are locally grown, harvested, sun-dried, and blended.
  • Mimbo Kitchen – West African food providing a relatable cuisine experience that compliments the best of Cameroon and California from our Vegetarian/Vegan African “Jollof bowls” with local seasonal veggies, grilled Halal or Organic Chicken, to our gluten-free, vegan fried Akara Beignets made with black-eyed peas and our house-made “Folore” Hibiscus & Ginger, agave sweeten drinks.
Market Participants returning soon or who’ve returned since the last update: 
Out temporarily: 
Collardz by Soul
La Cascada
Out for Season:
Tomato Man
Rainbow Ranch
Gotelli Cherries
Triple Delight Blueberries
Quit Market:
Nicasio Valley Cheese
Squabish Pretzels
Stone Root
Pang Yang Farms
Early Bird Farm & Mill

Dan Foster has been a market manager with AIM since 2017 and is currently managing the Grand Lake Oakland Farmers Markets. Prior to his time with AIM, Dan spent eleven years in produce/retail management at Whole Foods Market. Dan lives in Novato with his wife and three daughters. He studied Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In his free time, he makes music, plays games, or hoops it up in a local basketball rec league.