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Life in Chula Vista: Farmers market transforms Otay Ranch Town Center

Posted at 11:50 AM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 19:03:21-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Tuesday is transformation day at the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista.

The open-air center converts to a bustling farmers market, playing host to dozens of vendors.

10News anchor Kimberly Hunt spent an afternoon with a welcoming group of local artisans, whose love of food, culture and community shines through.

As you walk through the market, your senses are hit with amazing aromas and live music. On this day, the sound of live guitar followed visitors throughout.

See complete coverage of Life in Chula Vista

The variety of food vendors is enough to send your taste buds into a frenzy. Kimberly sampled Kenyan cuisine, devouring melt in your mouth chicken. She also stopped by a sushi stand, making savory rice bowls with tempura shrimp. Next was South Bay Salsas, a beautiful blend of fresh, seasonal Mexican/American fusion.

“Every week, it's a little different. Mangoes are fresh, sometimes a little more ripe. You take it like it is”, says South Bay Salsas owner Scott Strickland.

Strickland and his wife have grown their booming Chula Vista business by adding to their seasonal selections.

New to the farmers market this day was Frida’s street tacos. Owner Robert Ayala tried for 3 years to get a stand at the farmers market. Ayala says his first day was a great success.

“Serving our people, our community, with our tacos," Ayala said.

The love each of these vendors brings to their cooking comes through in every bite.

It wouldn’t be a farmers market without farm to table produce. Remberto Cepera owns a produce stand, selling fresh fruit grown on his land. On this day, he has fresh picked prickly pears.

“We picked these yesterday," Cepera said.

The devotion to his craft is evident. He has seen these beautiful fruits through winter’s frost and summer’s heat. The taste is extraordinary.

“It's delicious, and it's good for you," said Cepera.

There is a lot more to this farmers market than the farm. There is something for people of all ages. You can take a trip back in time with bomber jackets or flashy disco jackets. A balloon artist delights children while their parents shop.

“A lot of people come here for a good time with the family. Tons of great food, tons of great art” said Leo, a balloon artist who has lived in Chula Vista his whole life. He has performed at the farmers market for the past decade.

The farmers market is open every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.