The organic market and delivery site established by Rainbow Organic on Saturdays in Pelada will continue under the daily management of Canadians Neil Mark and Clare Blanchflower. Saturday market founders Terry and Gina Blumes returned to Canada earlier this month but Terry Blumes will still manage the online ordering system, website and backend operations, Mark said.
Customers can continue to shop online at rainboworganic.cr and Mark and Blanchflower will be open for online order pickups Saturdays at 3 pm in front of Seekret Spot in Pelada as usual.
The market will continue to stock additional produce so that shoppers can come buy anytime between 3:00 and 5:00 pm to shop, even if they haven’t ordered on online. Deliveries will continue if customers cannot pick up their items but Saturday pick is preferred, Blanchflower said.
Blanchflower and Mark recently moved to Nosara from Salt Spring Island outside of Vancouver, British Columbia. “It’s a little hippie community focused on healthy food and yoga, not unlike Nosara,” Mark said. Mark has 25 years experience working in the Farmer’s Market there.
Immediately upon arriving in Nosara, the couple volunteered at the Saturday organic market and met Blumes. They agreed to manage the Saturday event once Blumes moved, simply in exchange for organic produce and establishing a booth for their dehydrated fruits service. They are not being compensated in any other manner, Mark said.
Blanchflower dehydrates the leftover fruits and produce and creates raw, organic treats such as kale chips and fruit leather, cacao cookies and flavored almonds. She now sells these at the market under the name Ooolaboola Living Foods.
With their experience in Farmer’s Markets and raw, organic food production in Canada, Mark and Blanchflower have many ideas about innovations to bring to the Saturday Pelada market. Blanchflower described a “box program” in which customers can receive a variety of leftovers after the market at a discounted price.
“We already did this the first week with il Peperoni restaurant in exchange for pizza,” she said.
They have contacted the Nosara Food Bank to donate leftover fresh produce. And they are working on developing a community based planning committee to give input on how the Saturday market could be organized and improved.
“Terry and Gina set up an amazing infrastructure with the Feria Verde in San Jose and other local organic suppliers,” Mark said. He explained that their vision is to expand to a true Farmer’s Market where various vendors would apply to sell their organic produce and items.
“We’re working on the details, but we want vendors who are committed and show up each week,” she said. “We want a vibrant model of a green community and market. Anyone interested can join us and should contact me via my email, [email protected].”
Blumes said that in the peak months of high season rainbow organic had up to 60 orders per week but usually averaged about 25. Now, in low season there are about 15 orders a week. “Only about 5-10% of orders were deliveries, mostly for tourists that were interested in certified organic food with no hassle.”
He said a new delivery truck is being added to the system and he highlighted the website’s features such as “the drag over info boxes. I think it’s awesome to know where the food comes from. Those info boxes give the customers the type of information they deserve and the farmers the credit they deserve,” Blumes said.
Blanchflower explained that they see no conflict between the Saturday Pelada Market and any other organic vendors in the community. She said, “We all have the same goals—to support people passionate about food and make more deliciousness” in the community.
“Neil and I are all about the exquisite quality of the food here. We’re just excited about the rainbow carrots and organic apples we are adding to the produce selection,” Blanchflower said.