THE SANTA ROSA ORIGINAL CERTIFIED FARMERS MARKET

PROUDLY SERVING SANTA ROSA, GUERNEVILLE & CLOVERDALE SINCE 1967

The Freshest Catch

At Anna’s Seafood, the ocean’s bounty comes to life with an exceptional range of high-quality, fresh, and responsibly sourced seafood. As our Vendor of the Month for June, we are thrilled to spotlight Anna’s Seafood and their commitment to delivering the finest seafood to our community.

Anna’s Seafood began with a passion for the sea and a dedication to quality that has only grown over the years. From humble beginnings, they have expanded to offer an incredible variety of seafood, with up to 150 different items and species available each week. Their commitment to sourcing most of their seafood directly from the source, right off the boat, ensures unparalleled freshness and quality.

What sets Anna’s Seafood apart is not just the wide selection but the uniqueness of their products. Customers can find everything from live shellfish, crabs, lobsters, oysters, and prawns to sashimi-grade fish and smoked salmon. Their hot-smoked and cold-smoked lox are particular highlights, known for their rich flavor and meticulous preparation process. Prepared items like ahi poke, seaweed salad, clam chowder, tuna salad, and crab cakes are crafted with care, making them stand out as customer favorites.

In a world where sustainability is increasingly vital, Anna’s Seafood takes it seriously. They source their seafood locally, from Baja to Eureka, focusing on wild-caught species and responsibly farmed fish. By partnering with suppliers who adhere to ethical and sustainable practices, they ensure that their offerings are not only delicious but also environmentally friendly.

Anna’s Seafood’s presence at local farmers markets has fostered strong connections with customers. These markets are more than just a place to sell seafood; they are venues for building community, sharing knowledge, and creating memorable culinary experiences. The feedback from customers is overwhelmingly positive, with many sharing stories of how Anna’s Seafood has elevated their home cooking.

For Anna, seafood is not just a business; it’s a passion. Her personal favorite? The hot-smoked salmon, which she loves to prepare simply with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of dill. It’s this personal connection to the product that shines through in every aspect of Anna’s Seafood.

This June, we celebrate Anna’s Seafood and their remarkable journey. Visit them at the Santa Rosa Original Farmers Market each week and experience the exceptional quality and variety they offer. You won’t be disappointed!

In loving memory of Paula Downing: A Remarkable Steward of Sonoma County’s Farmers Markets

 

Sonoma County lost a cherished treasure and a dear friend to our Sonoma County Farmers’ Markets in early August. Paula Downing sadly passed away, at the age of 82 in her Sebastopol home, overlooking the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Paula’s influence on our community’s farmers markets was nothing short of transformational, and her legacy continues to thrive in the heart of our community.

 

In the early 1990s, Paula played a pivotal role in the creation of the Sebastopol Farmers’ Market. For the first two years, she was a vendor and served as a board member for the market. Then, when the original market manager had to leave due to family obligations, Paula’s 25 year tenure as the manager of the market began, where she brought to fruition the vision of the market organization: transforming it into a community based event, one where people would come not just for the sake of buying produce, but as a way to pass the time and connect with others. 

 

Paula’s journey as a market manager continued with the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, located in the east parking lot of the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building. Under her guidance, this market evolved into a vibrant hub for locals and visitors of Sonoma County. 

 

Paula’s commitment to small farmers was unwavering. She always went the extra mile for each member farm, providing assistance personally or by connecting them with the resources they needed. Her deep understanding and love for farmers made her a beloved figure among the farming community. Her impact was felt far and wide.

 

Pegi Ball, the current market manager, fondly remembers Paula as an unwavering source of support and wisdom. She shared, “Paula was incredibly supportive and knowledgeable. She reached out to me when I was just starting, answering my questions and offering unwavering support. Her mentorship was invaluable, and many vendors owe their success to her guidance.” Despite her unique personality that sometimes led to friendly disputes, Paula’s dedication to farmers and agriculture was unquestionable, earning immense gratitude from all who crossed her path.

 

Paula’s markets were not just places to buy fresh produce; they were vibrant community centers. She organized special events throughout the year, from tomato tastings with guest chefs to customer appreciation days and holiday-themed festivities. Paula also made a significant contribution by advocating for fair compensation for farmers, putting an end to the practice of endless requests for donations. 

 

In addition to her market work, Paula was a passionate advocate for the environment, clean air and water, local foods, and the preservation of biodiversity. She was an integral part of Slow Food Russian River and played a crucial role in efforts to save the Gravenstein Apple. Her impact extended beyond markets, as she tirelessly worked to protect headwaters, combat the use of DDT, and save old-growth trees in Oregon.

 

Paula’s sister, Barbara, highlighted the remarkable dedication Paula displayed in taking on all these demanding roles. She remarked, “Paula willingly dedicated herself to this challenging work out of her love for the community and her sense of duty.”

 

Paula’s infectious energy and dedication to her passions were felt by all who knew her. She leaves behind a legacy that will forever shape the landscape of Sonoma County’s farmers markets. While we mourn her loss, we also celebrate a life well lived—a life filled with love, advocacy, and a profound impact on our community. Paula, you will be deeply missed, and your spirit will forever inspire us.

 

In honor of Paula Downing

October 15, 1941 – August 7, 2023

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