Sunset Heroes: Angela Petitt-Taylor and the Outer Sunset Farmers Market

Author: susan

Celebrating Sunset Heroes: People who have kept our community strong through the pandemic and beyond.

For years, Angela Petitt-Taylor had dreamed of a farmers market in the Sunset District — while many other neighborhoods in San Francisco have a weekly spot to buy produce and other goods directly from farmers and makers, the western side of the Sunset was without. It took a long time to pull together, but when it launched on July 5, 2020, it wasn’t what Angie had imagined when she started planning it years before. Instead, the event — intended to allow the community to gather and interact — was launched at a scary time in the pandemic, when people were being told to stay home, and not to leave except for the most essential trips.

So her vision had to change. “First and foremost, safety, health and well-being are the top priorities,” Angie said of the market’s launch. “But there’s no reason why it can’t be a happy environment. We need to get creative, and think out of the box.”

And that’s what she did, bringing in farmers who were struggling to get their produce to shoppers, allowing space for established businesses to reach new patrons, and providing families that had been cooped up for months a place to wander and pick up necessities and some fun stuff, too.

For business owners like Rica Sunga-Quan, the founder of Churn Urban Creamery, the Outer Sunset Farmers Market “probably saved my business” as the pandemic kept foot traffic low near her ice cream shop’s Portola storefront. Other vendors, many who had lost their access to customers, found a new audience every Sunday from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., at 37th Avenue between Ortega and Quintara.

But in the end, the Outer Sunset Farmer’s Market isn’t just about retail. “It’s not just a market,” Angie says. “There’s the heaviness of a pandemic going on, but life is always worth celebrating. It’s important for everyone’s well-being that we find ways to reconnect with one another safely, to celebrate life safely. It’s a balance.”