The Bay Area Farmers’ Market is in full swing for spring

Once, Pamela Beito noticed a sarcastic comment on the Facebook page of the Bay Area Farmers Market. As the manager and founder of the market, she makes it a point to take notice.

“He said, ‘How can he be cool? He’s standing in a mall parking lot,” she said.

Indeed the market takes place every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Baybrook Mall, 500 Baybrook Mall Drive, in front of Total Wine. But when it comes to its cool factor, Beito knows best.

“There’s an energy there and a vibe of peace and love,” she said. “Vendors are talking about it, and it’s visible to most people. (The Market) is like this little resort, and you don’t even know you’re in a parking lot next to a highway.

Tim Glover, one of Beito’s salespeople and owner of Spicy Hot Wife Pepper Jelly and Jam, has his own ideas about what drives the market.

Bay Area Farmers Market

What: A farmer’s market featuring an array of vendors selling items ranging from fruits and vegetables to kombucha and alligator meat.

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday

Or: Baybrook Mall parking lot, 500 Baybrook Mall Drive, in front of Total Wine

Details:bayareafarmersmarkettexas.com


“The market vibe is Pam’s vibe,” he said of Beito. “She is like a mother to everyone there. She will make giant strides for you, but you need to bring your best game on Sunday and stay on top of your game.

Glover credits Beito for ensuring the market – which she started with her husband Dane in late 2018 and which now draws between 800 and 1,200 people most weekends – offers quality local produce by embracing strict standards and holding its suppliers accountable.

“Pam is strict. Things have to be done a certain way – you have to do it yourself, and she’s especially mindful of the ingredients (the vendors use),” he said. “The market is thriving because Pam does it well.”

Beito explained what she expects from farmers and vendors. When selecting suppliers, she said she looks for producers that are transparent and straightforward to ensure that the product they offer is of high quality. She said she has had to turn away farmers who supplement their produce with feed they buy in bulk from produce markets.

“I have to be careful about that. These people are not in my market,” she said.

A trip to the market will present a host of options for shoppers, including meats like grass-fed bison, pork, and even alligator. Other offerings include strawberries, culinary mushrooms, pickled jalapenos, shrimp and, according to Beito, “the best kombucha you’ll ever taste.”

Customers can also purchase freshly squeezed lemonade, peanut butter sauce, and cold-pressed juices, or they can have a custom infusion or specialty tea prepared by the on-site clinical herbalist. Also present is a knife sharpener.

Beito said it seeks to provide customers with an alternative to traditional grocery shopping while ensuring shoppers can find what they need. People can also have a hot meal at local poultry farmers.

“They sell eggs and chicken, and they set up a grill and make breakfast tacos or they make grilled chicken sandwiches out of organic chicken,” she said.

Every third Sunday of the month, Glover puts his cooking skills to good use using produce from his fellow vendors as part of his farm-to-table demonstration. He said he selects products from five or six vendors to make a meal.

“I made a salmon goat cheese bruschetta, a micro green salad with a honey and blueberry balsamic vinaigrette,” he said. “I once had Jamaican shrimp with spices pulled from vendors.”

Once the food is ready, shoppers are welcome to eat for free. Beito said vemdors often double their normal turnover when their products are part of Glover’s farm-to-table cuisine.

The market has shown its durability, persevere during the pandemic as well as the February 2021 freeze, which significantly affected suppliers.

The idea to start the market came from Beito and her husband’s involvement in farmers’ markets where they sold their own honey. A beekeeper since the age of 10, Dane Beito brought her into the business when they met.

Dane Beito was working as a Harley Davidson motorcycle mechanic and Pamela was a retired paralegal when they turned to beekeeping about 12 years ago, they started selling honey full time after being exhausted by his career. They soon began to frequent seven to ten markets a week and a few on weekends. This decision led them to create the Bay Area Farmers Market in 2018.

Today, Pamela Beito calls the market her passion. She said she works hard to cultivate a sense of connection and community between herself, her farmers and her customers.

“When people come to market, they are curious; so I’ve been very selective with the vendors and making sure we’re diverse in religion, skin color – everything, a very cool mix of people. This is where everyone who enters feels welcome,” she said.

She is also generous with hugs and freely expresses her love for the vendors who partner with her and help make her market a success.

As for his market in the Baybrook Mall parking lot, Beito said the move was very intentional, regardless of how people rate it on a freshness meter.

“We always wanted to sell honey in that mall parking lot,” she said. “It’s great visibility and exposure.”

For more information on the market, visit bayareafarmersmarkettexas.com.

James V. Payne