SFC Farmers Market at Sunset Valley

Vendors sell locally grown produce, groceries every Saturday morning

Visiting the Sustainable Food Center's Farmers Market at Sunset Valley can be equal parts grocery shopping trip, outdoor entertainment and Saturday morning brunch.

Setting up shop in the Toney Burger Center parking lot, the market's roughly 45 vendors sell a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, seafood and baked goods.

Visitors can also browse the selection of arts, crafts and handmade goods while munching on prepared foods available for sale.

"Customer surveys say they love supporting local farmers and getting local fresh nutritious food," said Suzanne Santos, the market's farm direct program director. "They love taking their kids—it's a tradition for Saturday mornings. It's their family time."

SFC provides misting tents, tables and chairs from which to watch local musicians perform. There is also a dedicated children's play area with foam blocks for imaginative play, Santos said.

SFC also hosts the Sunset Valley Artisan Market on Saturdays adjacent to the market.

SFC began running the market in 2010, but the market's roots, and some of its longest-participating farmers, date back to a market in Lakeway in the late 1990s, she said.

Farmers are considered local if they come from up to 150 miles away to sell, Santos said. Speciality items such as seafood come from farther away in Texas. Some vendors, including kombucha tea maker Wunder-Pilz and Princess & Moose's Sister Bakery, are based in Southwest Austin.

A recent survey found that 94 percent of attendees do not live in Sunset Valley, and that 78 percent of those surveyed would not have otherwise come to the city had it not been for the market.

SFC documents state that the market has attracted 35,927 customer visits in the first six months of 2013 and grossed $431,122 in sales. In all of 2012, it logged 63,764 visits and $765,170 in sales.

SFC Farmers Market at Sunset Valley, 3200 Jones Road, 512-443-0143, www.sfcfarmersmarket.org, Hours: Sat. 9 a.m.–1 p.m.