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Central California Life Magazine

Home Sweet Slome’s Farmers’ Market

Jun 28, 2014 02:13PM ● By Cen Cali Life Magazine

Home Sweet Slome’s Farmers’ Market

by Mallory Soares

Central Coast Bureau

According to Oprah, San Luis Obispo is the happiest city in America. The media icon’s declaration doesn't come as a surprise to residents of this coastal city of charming streets, local boutiques and eclectic restaurants. San Luis Obispo residents love their “Slome,” the term coined by the people who have homes in this city of nearly 46,000.

For visitors to understand what makes San Luis Obispo the country’s happiest place, they need only visit the Farmers’ Market. Every Thursday from 6-9, rain or shine, the Farmers’ Market takes place in the center of downtown SLO. Walk down Higuera Street between Osos and Nipomo streets and you’ll encounter a feast for the senses. Inhale the aroma of freshly baked pizza from Palazzo Giuseppe’s and the sweet scent of fresh strawberries. Listen to the chefs at F. McLintocks yelling their customers’ orders and grilling tri-trip right in front of you as your mouth waters. Look at the sunflowers, the children playing in the street, and the groups of people crowding around the live musician performing by the streetlamp. Watch the Cal Poly student community and the San Luis Obispo community come together.

The market has been a downtown tradition more than three decades. Many of the vendors have been selling their produce and products about that long. One is Paul Petronella of Domingo Farms Arroyo Grande. “I should have read the small print when I married my wife, because I’ve been working for my brother-in-law for 25 years now,” he laughs.  

When asked about his experience at Farmers’ Market, Petronella says, “It’s always fun. I’ve been coming here for so long now it feels like dealing with friends, not a job.”

Petronella says he sees the same clientele every week and has developed good relationships with all of his customers. “The atmosphere is just fun,” he says. “It’s like a special destination, not just another market.”

Cal Poly student Erin Heidenreich visits the market every week.

“The Farmers’ Market in SLO is so unique,” she says. “They have a lot of local products and sell things made at Cal Poly, like the cheese and milk, which I think is so cool—to be able to buy from students.”

Vendors come from all over the central coast and as far away as Fresno and Stockton. Fair warning: It is extremely hard to decide what to eat when there are so many choices. The SLO Farmers’ Market is filled not only with fresh produce, but also ready-to-eat dinners, sushiritos (sushi burritos) and hummus galore.

Heidenreich gushes about the avocados in particular. “One stand has really inexpensive avocados and they are really fresh and delicious!” she says.

Her greatest enthusiasm is reserved for the fresh barbecued corn, though. “Oh, my gosh,” she laughs. “It’s the best in the winter when it’s really cold outside.”  




For more information about the SLO Farmers’ Market, contact the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association at 805-541-0286 or visit their website at

Mallory Soares is a student Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. She can be reached at