But unlike most local farmers markets, The Backyard Market at Ruben's doesn’t require its vendors to pay fees.
“I got tired of seeing vendors who didn’t sell that much still have to pay $25-$40 to just sell their products,” said market organizer Anna-Marie Lopez, who runs Beneath the Tuscan Sun, a line of olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
Lopez teamed up with Ruben’s owner Ruben Sepulveda to launch the unique no-fee market – allowing vendors freely sell on-site without the usual management costs – to showcase unique products and local entrepreneurs.
Vendors still have to purchase the necessary permits, but the no-fee policy has encouraged many local vendors to join the market.
“I’ve gotten dozens of calls from local vendors who want to join. It’s a true people’s market,” Lopez said, adding that the market has helped to attract new customers for the restaurant. “As he grows, we grow.”
Ruben’s opened in February, inside the former Mo Mak’s Backyard Malts & Burgers, with a variety of Tex-Mex specialties as well as fresh sandwiches and salads. During the weekend farmers markets, the restaurant also offers breakfast tacos and cold drinks.
The market features up to 20 vendors each week, and opens Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.