If variety is indeed the spice of life, the Benicia Farmers Market is plenty spicy. What could be better than fresh, seasonal bounty along our lovely stretch of waterfront? With a backdrop of live music and a lively atmosphere, the Thursday waterfront event on lower First Street features more than seasonal fruits and vegetables. Shoppers can now find an array of items to round out their dinner plates, kitchen cupboards and even their bathroom shelves. The Benicia Main Street Program has made an extra push to bring in varied vendors as part of its effort to stage a full-serve market. “We’re always looking at ways to improve our market,” said Main Street Program Executive Director Nancy Martinez. Some of the more unusual items this season include grass-fed beef, fish, vegan lavender hand sanitizer, and homemade cold summer soup.

The Benicia Certified Farmers Market is in its 24th season, and runs 4-8pm on First Street between B and D Streets through Oct. 27. An array of booths offer farm fresh produce and fresh cut flowers along with arts and crafts, specialty foods, baked goods, food trucks, children’s activities, jewelry, home improvement services and information about city services and community groups.

Two new vendors represent a trend to offer just about anything you might need to prepare a meal. Flying Cow Farm from Esparto, north of Winters in Solano County, features a number of cuts of grass-fed beef that come from cows fed exclusively grass in pastures. This is in contrast to most cows that start off eating grass, but are then “finished off” with grain in large commercial feed lots. Owner Ewa Sobilo, who runs the farm with her husband, sells a variety of steaks, filets, shanks and ground beef. “It’s been very positive. A lot of people are thanking me that I’m there at the market,” she said. Interest is so high that she is offering a tour of her farm Oct. 9. People can sign up at her booth or visit the Flying Cow Farm Grass Fed Beef page on Facebook.Another new vendor is Freshway Fish from Roseville, which sells fish caught from the California and Pacific Northwest coastline at 40 different farmers markets in the region. In

Benicia, shoppers can pick up pre-packaged halibut and salmon steaks, fish spreads and other fish. Jeremy White, a member of the family-owned business, said smoked salmon is the most popular item. “Once people try it they are hooked, and they come back again and again,” he said. After three weeks in Benicia, people are still getting used to Freshway Fish. “Every time we start a new market it’s challenging. This one has a lot of foot traffic, which is good. We did get a lot of good feedback from customers. Hopefully, it will be a good market and be good for us,” said White.

Soup is typically not synonymous with farmers markets, but Supper’s On, run by Benicia’s Michelle Heberling, has cold gazpacho and hot soups, too. Skin care products are common, but new vendor Kim Emanuel and his Luminance Skin Care line offer something different. All the products he makes, in the Benicia Business Park, are organic, vegan and made with raw ingredients. Healthy ingredients are also the basis for Way to Life bread, granola and other baked goods.What dining table doesn’t benefit from a vase of flowers? Madrona’s Flowers offers a seasonal selection each week. Additional flower and other vendors could easily set up a booth in Benicia, but Martinez said in some cases, it’s not the “more the merrier.” Too much competition can, at times, mean no one makes much of a profit. The

Benicia Farmers Market has 60 vendors total. “It’s definitely a nice mix and everyone’s great to work with,” Martinez said.

For more details visit Benicia Main Street inside the Southern Pacific Depot Building at 90 First St. or call 707-745-9791.

Benicia Farmers Market Vendors

Achadinha Cheese Company

Chay’s Farms – Vegetables and berries

Diaz Farms – Grapes, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries

Flying Cow – 100% grass fed beef

Goldrush Bay Area Honey

Great Valley Poultry – Cage free organic eggs and pasture raised eggs and duck eggs

Lujan Farms – Apples, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, persimmons, plums, pluots, quince

Medina Berry Farms – Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries

Medrano’s Flowers

Rainbow Orchard – Blueberries, blackberries, wine

Resendiz Farms – Tree fruits, tomatoes, onions, melons, grapes, squash

Rose Lane Farms – Almonds, apples, pears, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, garlic, herbs,  lemons, onions, tomatoes, peppers, flowers, pumpkins, winter squash

Sunshine Farm – Vegetables and fruit

Gourmet Prepackaged Foods

Angelina’s Family Kitchen – Biscotti, cookies, macaroons

Best Damn Nuts – Artisanal nuts

Cobblestone Bakery – Variety of baked goods

Fairyella Ice Pops – Organic, healthy ice pops

Fox & Fawn Bakehouse – Cupcakes and pies in jars

FreshWay Fish – Fresh fish fillets, smoked fish, ready-to-eat seafood items

Gourmet Temptations – Mustard blends, marinades and sauces, fruit curds and jams, dessert sauces, honey, aged balsamic vinegars, blended olive oils, handmade pasta and gluten free pasta

Hummus Heaven –Hummus and dips, pita bread and chips

Sukhis Gourmet Indian Foods – Samosas, naans, paranthas, naanwich, curries, tandooris, various spices

Sustainable Sweets – Fruit jams, pies, breads, pie fillings, preserves

Talk Story Foods – Olive oils, balsamics, vinagers

The Salsa Chick – Salsa and tamales

The Uppercrust Bakery – Baked goods

Way to Life Foods – Granola, vegan cinnamon rolls, cookies

Hot Food Vendors

La Perla De Jalisco – Burritos, tacos, tortas, quesadillas, tamales

La Selva – Fresh fruit drinks, fish and shrimp tacos

Julie’s Roasted Corn & Potatoes – Roasted corn and baked potatoes

Out of this World Concessions – Corn dogs, funnel cakes, battered fried asparagus, artichoke hearts, zucchini, and onion rings, fries, chicken tenders, mushrooms, artisan flat bread, gyros, calamari, shaved ice, mini donuts

Supper’s On – Locally sourced, soulfully prepared soups

Tony’s Kettle Corn

Arts & Crafts

Bonnie’s Planters – Glass, wooden, metal pottery with green plants

Cheshi Ashikaga – Visit for details

Elusive Enterprize – Ceramic dish graters

Luminance Skincare – Organic, raw, vegan full-line skincare

Made by Your Favorites – Handmade bows, mouse ears, donut and bow pillows, scarves and zipper pouches.

Moments Shared Children’s Consignment – Baby and kids clothes, maternity clothes, toys, headbands, shoes

Simply Natural Madagascar – All natural hand made skin care and hand bagsSoaptree Soaps – Soap and natural body products

Personal Touch Crafts – Olives, garlic, jewelry, purses, scarves

The Arc-Solano – Handcrafted and designed bead work by developmentally delayed adults

The Hat Lady – Sunglasses, hats, beanies, hand knit sweaters

TwoDays Jewelry – Silver jewelry and teen accessories


1st Nor Cal Credit Union – Account applications and financial services

City of Benicia – Open Government, Finance – Water Rates, Library/Film Festival

Edward Jones – Financial advising services

Renewal by Andersen – Free window quotes on energy efficiency


Jamberry – Nail wraps, nail gels, hand care

Wellness Wisdom – Massage

Masquerade Face Painting