History of the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market
by Patrick Gendron

After 17 years in the same location, the May 30, 2015, market will be the last in the Brazos County Health Department parking lot. Patrick Gendron, who served as market president many years, has kindly provided this retrospective. The new location will be north of Downtown Bryan between Main and Bryan Street, bordered on the North and south, respectively by 21st and 22 St.

by Patrick Gendron
In the early 1980’s, the Brazos Valley Farmers Market (under the coordination of County Agent Sistrunk) was located in the parking lot of the Brazos County Courthouse where the current Courthouse parking garage is located. In the mid to late 1980s the farmers market moved out to the parking lot of the County Extension Office on Highway 21 where it remained until the mid-90s. County Agent Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz and later County Agent Jack Hunter acted as coordinators of the farmers market.

Around 1995 or so, for a few years the Bryan/College Station Realtors Association took over the leadership of the farmers market and moved it to the old Perry Brothers parking lot in Downtown Bryan at the northwest corner of William J. Bryan and Bryan Street where the current Discount Floors Superstore sits. For a year or two the farmers market went back to the parking lot of the County Extension Office on Highway 21.

In 1998, Patrick Gendron, Mark Burow, Josie Milberger, and Pete Lawson took over the leadership of the farmers market from the realtors. In 1999, it was decided to move the farmers market to its current location of 201 N. Texas Avenue at the corner of Texas Avenue and William J. Bryan Parkway (the parking lot of the Brazos County Health Department, which was once a Safeway Grocery Store) because it was a highly visible location and traffic count research showed it was one of the most traveled intersections in all of Brazos County.

Back then—as real estate agents would say—the most important aspect of advertising is really location, location, location. The main goal of the farmers market has always been to provide an avenue for farmers and gardeners to sell the fruits of their labor to fellow members of the community who have an appreciation for locally grown, fresh produce