Happy Boy Markets
Other Market Vendors
Organic sprouts, wheatgrass, micro greens & mushrooms
Raw milk and cream
Organic vegetable and herb seedlings
Blue Heron Farms
Organic flowers and vegetables
Pasture raised meats and eggs
Garden Variety Cheese
Lone Oak Ranch
Organic stone fruit, grapes, citrus and pomegranate juice
Downtown Santa Cruz
Wednesday, 1:30PM - 6:30PM
Location & Hours
Downtown Santa Cruz
In between Lincoln & Cathcart on Cedar St.
1:30PM - 6:30PM
It’s hard to find an equal to Santa Cruz's bustling downtown market. This market is not only in a class by itself when it comes to its abundant selection of incredibly high quality local fresh fruits and veggies, but also has a unique origin as one of the few marketplaces organized and run solely by farmers. While most of the area's other markets are run and hosted by large companies that have no relationship with local farms, the Santa Cruz Community Market’s decisions are all made by a membership board of local farmers. Operating for more than two decades, this market's roots are deep reaching thanks to the incredible and visionary farmers that have been involved since its beginnings. This market was founded after the ’88 Loma Prieta Earthquake left downtown Santa Cruz damaged and vacant, with a goal to breathe new life into the area. During the first few years the founders faced quite an uphill climb, but eventually their hard work and dedication paid off and the local community embraced the market. Thanks to the farmers, as well as all the folks who were passionate about local and organic food systems, we now can enjoy the Santa Cruz farmers' market in all of its present-day glory.
The downtown market was one of our first, and a lot of our more seasoned employees feel a certain kinship with it, almost like we have grown up together. This sentiment makes sense, since we've been a part of the market since 1996 and Happy Boy owner, Greg Beccio, was there with his first farm on opening day in 1990. Although we are here year round, our stand truly comes to life in the summer months - some of the customer favorites are our refreshing watermelon slices and wide variety of heirloom tomatoes. Considered by many as our “hometown” market, downtown Santa Cruz is a Happy Boy favorite for its great vibe and community. We are endlessly grateful to the tight knit group of farmers who tend to and foster this market as well as all the dedicated folks who made this market come to life and continue to grow.
On its recent 20th anniversary the market expanded, and now spans an entire block downtown. For foodies and locavores alike, there is deep satisfaction knowing that a large percentage of the farms in attendance are certified organic and located well within a 50 mile radius. Because the Central Coast region is incredibly fertile and riddled with unique micro-climates, the seasonal spread here abounds with a huge assortment of berries, fresh greens, flowers and tree fruit. Fresh produce is indeed the foundation of the market, but customers will also be impressed by the incredible choices ranging from pasture raised meats and dairy to artisan preserved foods. And then there are the dessert vendors, where you might find a Happy Boy or two lined up for locally crafted ice cream and sorbet with flavors like Charentais melon and brown butter sage.
The market is always lively and draws a diverse and unique crowd of Santa Cruz locals, students and tourists. The prepared foods area is loaded with artisan food carts and stands cooking up handmade organic pizzas, rotisserie chicken, raw and vegan dishes, Mexican and Indian cuisine and barbecue. Folks can sit down to enjoy these delicious meals in the shady dining commons at shared community tables, and afterwards use the comprehensive food scrap composting and recycling hub for eco-minded disposal. Parking is considerably limited downtown so the market managers created a free monitored bike parking area as well as a new free service, the Veggie-Valet. Here, customers can temporarily check their purchases for easier shopping or while going to retrieve their vehicle and drive up for quick curb-side loading.
The marketplace is located just one block off Pacific, on Cedar Street, between Cathcart and Lincoln. Right near the Nickelodeon Theater.