Mission Farm & Flower Market entering third season with more vendors and questions about how big it could get

The Mission Farm and Flower Market made its debut in 2015.
The Mission Farm and Flower Market made its debut in 2015. It starts its third season in May along Johnson Drive.

The Mission Farmers Market will enter its third year this spring with more vendors. That increase also leads to questions about how big the market can grow in its present location.

The market has been located in green space along Johnson Drive west of Nall since its inception. Emily Randel, who has headed the market project for the city, said 15 vendors is the maximum that can be contained in one front row along the street. The city has 15 vendors signed for this year, growing from 12 last year and 9 during its first season. “We have a solid number of vendors, but we could have more,” Randel told the city council recently.

The Johnson Drive location was not originally intended for a market Randel said, but the vendors like the visibility on Johnson Drive. Some of the city council members like Johnson Drive as well.

The idea for the market grew from a visioning process for downtown that proposed the city “doing things on the public side that would make the area more attractive and active,” Randel said. That vision also called for an amphitheater in the Johnson Drive area. The question of a structure for the market also has been raised.

Mayor Steve Schowengerdt said it isn’t clear a structure that would provide weather protection is even feasible in the Johnson Drive area. But, he said, it may be harder to keep vendors long-term without one.

City Administrator Laura Smith said a structure has not been entirely ruled out. The city’s property at the old Harleywoods building site may offer some opportunity.

The market this year will have a food truck kick-off party on May 2. Opening day for the market will be May 6.