Alexis Alfred photo

Alexis Alfred is a communications strategist and community builder. During the day, she works at NASA, but by night, her passion is helping community leaders and personal brands strategically amplify their voices.

During my senior year at California State University, Bakersfield, I was asked to go on a first date to the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market.

Not only was I shocked as a Bakersfield native to find out that we have a local farmers market, I was also shocked that someone had so much faith in this event that he would choose it for our date.

Every Sunday, across the street from The Marketplace, you will find vendors spread across the Kaiser Permanente parking lot sharing their foods and goods with Kern County.

PB Jacks, a local nut butter company in downtown Bakersfield, has been a provider at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market since it first began. Marissa Amavizca, daughter of the PB Jacks business owner, shared that the farmers market gives her a gateway to her passion of serving others in the community.

As a CSUB alumna, community and education are pillars that were taught and instilled in me since my first day on campus. Supporting the local farmers market gives me the opportunity to uplift the blending of these two essential attributes of my life.

Ayden’s Eggs is operated by Sarah Celine Pursel, a high school student who adopted the business as a project for Future Farmers of America. This project focuses on encouraging youth to prepare for careers in science, business and technology of agriculture. The farmers market gives Pursel the opportunity to share her education journey, be inspired by the local business owners and act upon her personal mission to live and serve.

Brother Ray’s, a salsa and seasonings vendor, began providing its goods at the farmers market in 2012. Phil Beltran, from Brother Ray’s, took the time to share with me that the businesses focus on the importance of fostering relationships within the community.

Since being involved in the farmers market, Brother Ray’s has had the opportunity to sell its product in several stores within Kern County. Beltran’s favorite part of the farmers market experience during this summer season is seeing so many happy and smiling faces after the challenging year that we experienced.

Alex Wash from Antipasti LA makes her commute from Los Angeles to Bakersfield purely to experience the flourishing farmers market environment here in the city. This husband and wife owned business with roots based in Italy provides fresh pasta and artisan cheeses to Southern California.

The Haggin Oaks Farmers Market gives Wash the unique experience to create relationships with the families in Bakersfield; she shared that some of their regular customers check in with her simply to see how her week is going. Wash enjoys networking with other thriving small businesses that have gained support from the Bakersfield community.

The Haggin Oaks Farmers Market is one of many Kern County gems. This intersection of food and community is the perfect remedy to a year of staying indoors.

Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., vendors from Bakersfield and beyond gather to share their story and products. From fresh fruits and vegetables to hot barbecue and delicious desserts, the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market is sure to be the perfect local getaway and cater to the entire family.

Alexis Alfred is a communications strategist and community builder. During the day, she works at NASA, but by night, her passion is helping community leaders and personal brands strategically amplify their voices. Visit her website at https://www.alexisalfred.com/