Photos: Tom Abbott
April 16, 2017 (San Diego). They say time flies, and before you know it anniversaries comes. This morning the Hillcrest Market at 3960 Normal Street turns twenty. It was the first of its type in San Diego. They had cupcakes, Easter eggs, and a grand cake to celebrate. For the little ones, they brought a bounce house. Among those celebrating this anniversary was Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-53).
According to David Larson, one of the two managers, the market “started with 30 vendors and now we average about 135 every Sunday.”
He added, “we’ve had our challenges along the way but we also have been here every day, rain or shine with the exception of when Christmas and New Years fall on Sunday.” He added that this market has benefited the community. “The profits go into the community. It is great for local vendors and farmers, so it has been great.”
He explained that the profits go to the Hillcrest Business Association. This, in turn, translates to community programs.
Ben Nichols, the Executive Director of the Hillcrest Business Association told Reporting San Diego that these were “twenty years of great food, community building, so excited about it.”
Congresswoman Susan Davis cut the cake and got a bouquet of flowers. She also spoke with Reporting San Diego for a bit after cutting the cake. “It is like an institution, it really is. And it was the forerunner of many other markets in the area. And having all this space that works.”
She added that the market has evolved over the years, with new and old vendors. “It’s a happy place.”
She also noted that the market is at the center of the city, and it brings people around from many different communities.
One thing you can also find at the market are performers, such as violinist Wayne Webster, who has been playing for as long as we remember.
The market is divided into a crafts area, a fruits and vegetable area, and a food court. There is also a division between organic and non-organic food products. You can find things like bamboo socks, bags, at times pottery. There are flowers, vegetables and food from all over the world. Many of our immigrant communities, whether it is Russian, or East African, are well represented.
Full disclosures, we have been regulars at this farmers market for at least five years. We love the food, and usually, go in the morning, get breakfast, fair trade coffee and vegetables for the week. We also usually get dinner for the next day at Saranya’s Thai Kitchen. We also enjoy the Salvadoran Popusas. I also like the ceviche from time to time. But if you are looking for Greek fare, it is there. You want tacos, it is there. Perhaps tamales are your things for the day, you can find them. Pastries, fresh as they can get.