Kerri Santoro has been the driving force behind the Big Bear Farmers Market for 26 years.
The general manager of the Big Bear and High Desert farmers markets started the Big Bear location at the Bartlett Parking lot in the Big Bear Lake Village in 1993 with a few farmers and bakers. Over the years it has transformed into a marketplace with 10 farmers and growers, four bakeries, hummus and garlic spread vendors, fresh fish from the ports of Los Angeles and many more family-owned vendors.
The Big Bear Farmers Market moved to the Convention Center at Big Bear Lake more than 10 years ago.
Nearly one-third of the vendors are from Big Bear while some farmers travel from as far as Santa Maria. New to the farmers market this year is an acai bowl shop along with the locally loved Sister my Sisters Bakery. The market also includes retailers that sell handmade goods such as jewelry, clothing and health products.
Santoro works hard to provide Big Bear with fresh food options every Tuesday from the beginning of summer until the end of September.
“The Old Time Baking Co. has been here since day one,” Santoro says. “I do try to keep the vendors well balanced. If it’s too competitive not all farmers can join …. The retailers attract a broader spectrum of customers which helps facilitate bringing fresh food to the community.”
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