About Us

Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets

Serving our communities on the Central Coast since 1976

Founded in 1976, the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets (MBCFM) is the oldest and largest farmers market organization on the Central Coast of California. It is comprised of a family of four farmers markets with locations in Aptos, Carmel, and two in Monterey. Each market has its own unique style that reflects its community. Two of the four markets operate year-round. The Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets have won multiple awards in recent years, including “best farmers market” in California, Santa Cruz County, and ranks second in the U.S. by American Farmland Trust.

Our Bountiful Region
The Monterey Bay region, from the North Coast of Santa Cruz County to the tip of Monterey, is an extremely rich agricultural area that is home to a remarkable number of outstanding organic farms, wineries and food purveyors. The region is also esteemed for being a leader in sustainable and organic agricultural practices. In fact, Santa Cruz is the cradle of the organic movement dating back to 1967 when Alan Chadwick and students transformed a rugged hillside at University of California Santa Cruz into an abundant garden using hand tools and organic amendments. Our region is now home to more organic operations than any other area in California.

Products at the Markets
With more than 90 vendors, visitors to the markets will find a stunning selection of top quality California produce and flowers from small regional farmers, many of which are certified organic or use sustainable farming methods. In addition, local vendors offer a diverse selection of specialty products including organic pasture-raised meat and poultry, locally produced olive oil, raw honey, exotic mushrooms, handcrafted cheeses, raw milk, yogurt, sauerkraut, farm fresh chicken, duck, and quail eggs, preserves, fresh seafood, gourmet sauces, handmade pasta, artisan bread, fresh-baked pastries, gluten free baked goods, fair-trade coffee and specialty teas. The Aptos, Monterey and Carmel Farmers Markets also offer on-site, professional sharpening services for cutlery and gardening tools.

Certified Farmers Markets
The MBCFM is a “certified” organization, meaning the participating farmers are certified with the state and sell only products they grow themselves. To support the communities in which they operate, MBCFM donates up to three spaces per month to local non-profits to raise awareness of their programs.

Our Team
The farmers markets are a team effort of farmers, vendors, and marketing staff led by Executive Director, Catherine Barr. Since 1993, Catherine has dedicated her efforts to expanding the markets in local communities and championing the preservation of small family farmers. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious “Al Smith Friend of Agriculture Award” for her outstanding service to the agricultural community by the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau. From humble beginnings, Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets have grown into thriving farmers markets that bring our communities together in appreciation of the rich bounty of our region.