Roger Springall has heard the questions for years, but he never had a good answer. New residents would come into his downtown San Jose coffee shop, Caffe Frascati, and ask where to shop for groceries. Apart from the limited offerings of Safeway and Grocery Outlet, he didn’t really have an answer.

“It’s something that the people want and need—they don’t have many options,” Springall says. “We’ve been encouraging people to move downtown, but the retail hasn’t supported it.”

On Sunday, Aug. 27, that should begin to change.

Springall and neighboring businesses and organizations in the SoFA District have come together to launch the neighborhood’s first year-round farmers market. The event, which runs from 10am to 2pm, will take place at 300 S. First St. and feature an eclectic mix of brick-and-mortar business and smaller farmers, says Joe Lami, marketing coordinator at West Coast Farmers Markets.

Springall and Dan Pulcrano, executive editor and CEO of Metro, created the framework for the market after getting feedback from nearby apartment buildings and residents.

“The Core Companies and The Pierce Apartments are getting behind us and saying, ‘We want this too,’’’ Springall says. “It’s been a huge encouragement to getting this off the ground.”

Having the market take place Sundays—as opposed to San Pedro Square’s farmers market on Friday mornings—should help welcome more residents with families.

“It’s going to be a nice thing on Sunday morning to bring the kids and wander around,” Springall says.

In addition to fresh produce, the market will feature live music, a children’s play area equipped with artificial turf and inflatable couches, local artisan booths, baked goods and a florist. All vendors are required to live and work within a three-hour drive.

“It’s really going to be quite local to the SoFA District,” Lami says.

Neighboring restaurants also hope to benefit from the Sunday foot traffic.

It’s going to a be fresher product and it’s going to support local economies,Lami says. “The revitalization of the location has been strong, and a farmers market is going to give it that much more.”

SoFA Farmers Market
300 S First St, San Jose.