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April 8, 2019

Behind the Scenes of the fresh52 Farmers’ Market with Owner Carrie Hogan

It’s an event that has quickly become a staple of the Inspirada community—a chance for people to come together, connect, and make memories over a healthy lifestyle.

Yep, we’re talking the fresh 52 Farmers’ Market at Inspirada.

While we get to enjoy the end product, many forget the behind-the-scenes efforts that it takes to set up the event. To give you an idea of all the work that goes into the market, we sat down with the woman in charge of it all: Carrie Hogan.

The fresh52 Farmers’ Market

Meet Carrie Hogan, the mastermind behind the fresh52 Farmers’ Market at Inspirada. She’s been running the fresh52 Farmers’ Market for the Henderson community for the past 9 years.

At the start of her time with the market, each event featured just 6 vendors. Over the years, the market has grown in popularity as more visitors took interest in what it had to offer. Now, the market has well over 25 vendors. You can find everything from produce and freshly-baked goods to soaps, spices, and more at the market.

Fresh52’s mission to provide the community with healthy, locally-sourced goods has continued to resonate with local farmers and businesses to this day. “Shoppers can expect a reliable neighborhood farmers’ market with great produce and fun for the entire family including activities, cooking demos, live music and so much more just right outside their front door in Inspirada,” Carrie says.

Taste Testing Produce

Preparation for each market is an ongoing taste test for Carrie. Each week, she visits local farmers to try what’s in season and choose the freshest, most delicious produce to showcase at the market.

“My role is to create personal relationships with the farmers and to make sure the produce is fresh, organic and up to my standards. Otherwise, it won’t be sold at the market,” Carrie says.

Among these hand-selected farms are Gilcrease Orchard and China Ranch Date Farm. Fresh52 foragers also visit regional farms in central and southern California to find the freshest seasonal produce for the market. Apples, oranges, berries, lemons, guavas—you name it, they’ve tasted it all in the name of bringing the best back to the Henderson community.

Pro tip: just because it may not be pretty on the outside doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste delicious. According to Carrie, “not many shoppers know this, but sometimes the uglier the produce, the better tasting it is!” Next time you’re at the market, try grabbing a veggie with a little bit of personality.

Vendor Selection Process

Vendors range from all-natural beauty products and pet treats to produce, spices, artisan bakes, and more. One thing is common across all vendors, though: a high standard of health and excellence.

“I follow a very strict guideline with all my vendors,” Carrie says, “and commercial items are not permitted at the market—you make what you sell at fresh52!” In order to be a part of the market, all vendors’ products must be made with real ingredients and no chemicals or processing. Only the freshest is set out for visitors.

Visitors can also learn about different growing and manufacturing processes and uses for products right from the vendors themselves. “It’s so important we know where our food comes from, and there’s no better place to educate yourself about that than at a farmers’ market,” Carrie says.

What a Day Managing the Market Looks Like

The morning of the market, Carrie arrives at Solista Park at 6 a.m. to unload the local farmers’ harvest that was picked up the day before. Not even 24 hours will pass from farm to market for these delicious goodies.

She then heads over to Anthem to grab tents, weights, and other market supplies. As other vendors begin to arrive, Carrie juggles helping them get set up in their spaces with making sure the rest of the market preparations are running smoothly.

Once everything is set up and visitors begin to arrive, you can find Carrie at the market manager booth answering any questions shoppers may have. Carrie’s conversations with visitors have run the gamut of health, meal prep, farm questions, new vendor inquiries, EBT and SNAP payment, and general vendor information among other things.

For Carrie and the rest of the fresh52 staff, this market is about providing a holistic experience for visitors. It’s more than just buying groceries. They’re there to provide the tools that enable visitors to live a healthy lifestyle.

Why Inspirada?

It’s been just over two years since the market moved into Inspirada, and it has quickly become a community staple. When asked why she chose Inspirada as the backdrop for one of fresh52’s markets, Carrie’s answer was easy. She tells me she fell in love with the tight-knit Inspirada community the very first time she visited. This feeling of community, along with the rapid growth the neighborhood is experiencing made Inspirada the perfect backdrop for the next fresh52 market.

“I wanted new residents to know that Henderson has some of the best farmers’ markets just a few steps away from their home,” says Carrie. That’s why Solista Park’s central location made it the perfect setting for the market. A quick walk or bike ride down the street puts you right in the center of it all, so it’s super easy to bring your kids and pets along too! All residents can enjoy healthy produce and a family-friendly event just moments from their Inspirada home.

Whether you are part of the Inspirada community or living in Henderson, all are welcome at the fresh52 Farmers’ & Artisan Market at Inspirada. Join the fun! Check out the Inspirada event calendar to find bookmark the next farmers’ market event!

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