Arden Garden Market Arden Garden Market
Wayne Thiebaud - Y-River 1998
arden @ Del Paso | 1409 Del Paso Blvd | Sacramento, CA
Every Saturday 9-1

Mission Statement




Arden Garden Market: A food community dedicated to feeding the soul as much as the body.

Arden Garden Market is located at 1409 Del Paso Boulevard. It will create revenue at a rate almost 200 times national average for Farmers Markets.* Sacramento sits within one of the richest farming regions in the world, yet has less than 50% of farmers markets per capita, compared to the rest of the State of California. This is about to change. 

Arden Garden Market is an independent marketplace dedicated to an ambitious mission: Creating a food community dedicated to feeding the body as much as the soul.

We believe that a better world calls for action to provide people of all income levels with fresh, healthy food from a community market located in easy distance of their homes. To create such a world, action is needed at all levels--individual, organizational, and societal. At the individual level, Arden Garden Market will help people find and purchase affordable, healthy, fresh and local food. At the organizational level, our Market will promote progressive leadership and management of public space in Sacramento. At the societal level, our Market will advance healthy eating practices for people at every income level, share prosperity, and open the eyes of children and families to national and global issues related to good food.

A major theme of our Market is to "feed the soul as much as the body.” We challenge conventional thinking, introduce new ideas, and foster positive change. Our quest is to change mindsets, institutions, and structures that relate to health and food, so that we put an end to problems in healthy living that have eluded leaders and community improvement programs.

Arden Garden Market strives to practice stewardship, which we define as a deep sense of responsibility to our "stakeholder" groups, the families and the communities around us.



"I would rather eat fresh, locally produced food, than rely on huge corporate supermarket fare. Would you, if you could?"

If “Yes” is the answer, the next question is, “How?” There has to be a market you can reasonably hope to reach on a regular basis. What if you had a seven-day-a-week Farmers' Market to bring fresh, local and affordable produce to a nearby location?

In 2014, Farm to Fork will be a reality when Arden Garden Market opens for business.

At Arden Garden Market you will be able to purchase produce, meat, fish, fowl, dairy, and dry goods every day. In addition, an Ethnic Center will offer foods and crafts from twenty countries. A full Market with 200 outside food booths will be open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On Saturday, Arden Garden Market will offer free, open-air entertainment including the best of Sacramento’s homegrown musicians.

Twenty years ago, the Arden neighborhood lost its only three grocery stores. A daily farmers market has been in community discussion for years. Now it’s happening.

We speak of food for the soul and the body, and farm to fork in a food desert, and we believe we have the start of a compelling American story.

In 2014 Arden Garden Market will spring forth full-blown. Arden Garden Market will bring forty-five thousand visits per week to its large and convenient site. To imagine what this might look like, consider Detroit, Illinois with a population of four million people. Its farmers' market draws forty-five thousand visits per week. Consider New Orleans, where Wendell Pierce of the HBO series Treme opened Sterling Farms, a grocery with an open air component that brings healthy foods to low income shoppers, like the food he ate as a child. He says, “That communal thing of actually going to get the fresh food that you are going to cook and eat together… As corny as it sounds, it feeds the soul as much as the body.” We draw our founding Mission Statement from him. Imagine the value to Sacramento with overwhelming community use of Arden Garden Market.



In the next few months we will submit several dozen grant applications to raise funds to launch Arden Garden Market. We will also make use of crowd funding resources like Kickstarter to generate funds from individuals who want to participate at any level. Grantors will be asked to focus on one or more component of the Market, including:

  • The Main Building for vendors of produce, meats and baked goods
  • The Ethnic Foods Building
  • Permanent 100 foot-square vendor booths
  • An outdoor stage for entertainment

Some of the region’s best architects are doing pro-bono design work to design Arden Garden Market with grace, skill and talent.

We expect to provide hundreds of fulfilling jobs to accomplish our mission. The Market will also become an incubator for many small businesses who share the site.



If we build it, they will come.

The Arden Garden Market is the size of an average American supermarket, with a selling area of about 45,000 sq. feet, * and two hundred vendors.  Sales of the average supermarket are approximately 23 million dollars annually. The average farmers’ market sees annual sales of approximately $128,000. 

Based on scale, content, need, and location, our goal is to receive 45,000 visitors per week and generate annual sales of approximately $20,000,000, similar to average grocery store*. We base our projections of sales and visitors on comparable markets outside the Sacramento region. 

Sacramento is 20 years behind the food literacy of most urban capitals of the world. Our market calls for a new food lifestyle to create the model for change. Other cities will watch the project to see whether they can duplicate our predicted results. We understand that Fresno city leaders are actively interested.

Although Sacramento calls itself the Farm to Fork capital of America, a relatively small proportion of residents have enjoyed the foods of the world, planted vegetable gardens, and learned in depth about food and nutrition. The argument for success of the Arden Garden is not made based on current conditions. Indeed, there are few places to buy fresh food of any kind in a three-mile radius around the Arden Garden Market site.

Contrast the cost to create Arden Garden Market with the investment in the purchase of the Sacramento Kings basketball team, and the cost of the arena to house the team.  The combined cost appears to exceed one billion dollars, a factor of about 250 times the investment for the Arden Garden Market.  If the projected number of weekly visitors proves correct, attendance will be about double the Kings, and the benefits multi-dimensional. 

Success of the market will be judged in part by the success of the vendors, expected to number 400 every week.  Each vendor will have an assigned parking space and a booth that is covered, electrified and furnished at a cost benchmarked to match the lowest cost in the U.S.  The endeavor is non-profit. It will encourage vendor pricing competitive with industrially grown crops. Arden Garden Market will serve the whole Sacramento population.  Many of America's farmers markets are priced to serve only the wealthiest shoppers. 



North Sacramento has been designated a “Food Desert” by the USDA, based on a June, 2009 report, “Access to Affordable and Nutritious food: Measuring and Understand Food Deserts and Their Consequences.” The report defines access by the number of households without cars that are more than one-half mile from the nearest supermarket. In North Sacramento’s census tract (060670006900), low-income households predominate and about 10% of residents do not have cars

Many low-income households in this region consume fewer than five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables weekly, compared to 47.7% of their higher-income counterparts, according to the USDA and the SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Government) report, and the Sacramento Region Market Assessment. This contributes to a high incidence of obesity and accompanying diseases in the areas included in the SACOG report. Change is needed in nutrition education and traditional eating patterns, but no change will succeed without access to healthy food.

Sacramento County is underserved by farmer’s markets in contrast to Yolo, Placer, and Ed Dorado counties. According to the SACOG report Sacramento has only 1.1 markets per 100,000 people compared to 4.5 in Placer County. This is a glaring indication that there is need and demand for more farmers’ markets in Sacramento.

All of Sacramento is underserved by farmer’s markets. While congested mid-town and downtown area residents certainly need and want access to a variety of healthy and delicious foods at an approachable price, they already have the lion’s share of such markets. Residents of these areas typically have higher income and superior food and health knowledge than residents of North Sacramento Arden Garden Market will allow lower income people to buy good food and learn about healthy eating.

Arden Garden Market will offer food stamps through a program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) htt:// Market vendors must qualify to participate in the program. All vendors will be trained in how administer the program and to make eligible sales.



Food Literacy is a non-profit organization launched in 2011to help children develop healthy food habits. Children can and do influence adults around them. Food Literacy runs a successful program in Oak Park, one of Sacramento’s most needy neighborhoods, and teaches basic cooking skills and nutrition. It also feeds children healthy snacks through its after-school program and offers a ten-week educational program to train teachers and community volunteers to bring its information to schools and non-profits organizations. Food Literacy plans to expand its operation in the Arden Garden Market site, in order to inform residents of the value of it services offered.



A leading expert in produce distribution in Sacramento is already speaking to farmers statewide to confirm commitment to rent stall space in the hub building. In effect the stalls will be pre-leased before the project is complete. Once open, market managers will continue to attract producers’ participation.

Cash flow projections show that the Market can run in the black from the first day of operation. With 160 farmers and vendors renting stalls at a very low charge of $20 per day, initial monthly income will be $38,100. Additional income will come from providers including Soil Born, the organization that operates the Hub and from Good Design’s monthly market.

Gross revenue is estimated at $83,400 per month, circa $100,000,000 per annum. It will cover the costs of a market manager, two staff members, special events, insurance, utilities, and a reserve fund.

Monthly Revenue

160 Outdoor Vendors x 12 days @ $20 ea................................................... 38,100.00

20 Ethnic Vendors Stalls x 30 days @ $40 ea.............................................. 24,000.00

8 Main Market Vendors x 30 days @$60 ea ................................................  14,400.00

HUB bldg. Soil Born              .......................................................................   1,500.00

2 Food Trucks x 12 days @$50 ea ...............................................................   3,600.00

2 Other Food Trucks x30 days @ $30 ea......................................................   1,800.00       

Total Monthly Income            ....................................................................... 83,400.00

Monthly Expenses

Personnel Budget                    ...............................................             35,000.00

Rents and Fees                        ...............................................             11,000.00

Marketing/Promotions/Special Events ..................................               5,000.00

Insurance                                 ...............................................               1,000.00

Maintenance                            ...............................................                6,000.00

Utilities/Water/Garbage (Solar energy free of charge) .........               3,000.00

Grand Total Monthly Expenses ............................................             61,000.00

(Does not include parking expenses or revenues)



What will Arden Garden Market look like? A winning team of accomplished planners, architects, strategic planners, development professionals, web designers and business managers will produce a world-class design and a practical and realistic business plan to assure financial viability for Arden Garden Market.

The sellers’ stalls are grouped for shopping convenience and to allow adequate space for merchants to display their wares attractively. Logical combinations will make for easy shopping, such as placing meat and fish near vegetables, and fruits. Visitors will be able to look at what is available without spending hours patrolling aisles of merchandise. Within steps of the vendors will be seating areas with tables and chairs to taste and enjoy food.

Parking will be a carefully planned component of the physical plan is parking, as will restrooms for shoppers.



The City of Sacrament is situated in one of the most productive and diverse framing regions in the world. Agriculture is deeply embedded in our regional identity and is both a point of pride and a focus for innovation and investment. Earlier this year, the Mayor of our City, Kevin Johnson, proclaimed Sacramento the Farm to Fork capitol of the United States. It is a credible claim that places political will behind support for farm product consumers.

At this time, Sacramento boasts one of the most successful Farmer's Markets in the country, as measured by both longevity and attendance. Yet, that market is a once-a-week event that takes place in a parking lot beneath an elevated freeway. It is, with all due respect to the organizers, an inadequate way to experience what should rightfully be a celebration of our heritage and commitment to healthful and sustainable living. It is time to do better. It is time to create a market worthy of Sacramento that includes food producers, and also, finishers, (locally-derived packaged products), and nutrition educational resources - all in one place that is open every day of the week. It is time for the Arden Garden Market



Operation: Open daily, year-round, with outdoor fresh produce markets on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday

Access: On-site parking and easy public transit access

Attractions: Balanced offerings in an indoor/outdoor purpose-built market with programmed events and entertainment

Vendor Types: Fresh produce, finished goods, culinary experiences, related lifestyle products

Auxiliary uses: Educational programs supporting literacy, and food-related business entrepreneurship

Entity: Non-profit



The Managers of all operations are selected and ready to begin work.

The Board of Directors for Arden Garden Market, 501C includes:

  • Mark Friedman - Developer
  • Dexter Carmichael - Manager of the San Francisco Farmers' Market at the Ferry Building
  • Jim Mill - Quintessential "Farm to Fork" passionate food professional with 40 years of related farmers' market experience
  • Jim Rinehart - Head of the Department of Business Development, City of Sacramento