Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series about the history of the Farmers Market independent supermarket chain.
Among the most successful supermarket chains to have had a presence in the north area of the city was the Farmers Market chain, which was founded by the late Chinese immigrant Walter Fong.
As mentioned in the previous article of this two-part series, Fong, who immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s, began operating a grocery store in downtown Sacramento in the late 1930s.
The first Farmers Market opened at 3810 Marysville Road (now Marysville Boulevard), at Grand Avenue in Del Paso Heights in 1949.
That store, as well as the next four Farmers Market locations, was briefly summarized in the first article of this series.
Details about several other Farmers Market stores are presented, as follows:
Farmers Market No. 6
Farmers Market No. 6 opened at 6015 Watt Ave. in North Highlands in about 1961 and remained in operation until about 1982.
The first manager of the store was Albert C. Lew.
Jimmy Yee was another one of the store’s managers.
Presently, the North Highlands Community Health Center operates in the old grocery store building.
Farmers Market No. 7
The seventh store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 4911 47th Ave. in about 1961.
James Lim was an early manager of this store, which remained in business until about 1982. Johnny Fong and Stanley Yee were also among the store’s managers.
Today, the site is home to the Calvary Evangelism Center, which began its history as the Emmanuel Pentecostal Church at 1418 8th Ave. in 1940.
Farmers Market No. 8
A Farmers Market at 4200 Arden Way, at Eastern Avenue, first opened its doors to the public in 1961.
An early manager of the store was George Yee, who resided with his wife, Virginia, at 915 U St.
Farmers Market No. 8 remained in business until about 1965, when it was replaced by a store of the Holiday Market grocery store chain. The first manager of that Holiday Market store site was Kenneth G. Derryberry.
The Holiday Market on Arden Way was replaced by Pantry Market, and its accompanying Slim Trim Bakery, in about 1979.
Presently, the site is home to Walgreens Store #4170.
Farmers Market No. 9
The ninth store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 5920 Madison Ave., one block north of Marconi Avenue, in Carmichael in about 1963.
The first manager of that store was Leon A. Quinn. He was succeeded in that position about a year later by Paul Lee.
Earl Joe later served as the store’s manager.
Farmers Market Store No. 9 closed in about 1977, and the site has been home to Beck’s Furniture since 1978.
Farmers Market No. 11
Rancho Cordova received its own Farmers Market with the opening of Store No. 11 at 10665 Coloma Road in about 1966.
That store remained open until about 1982, and the site was home to the Rancho Cordova Neighborhood Center for many years.
Farmers Market No. 12
It was also in about 1966 when a Farmers Market opened at 1601 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento. The store remained in business until 1984.
Among that store’s managers were Ed Jong and James G. Louie.
The Sacramento Bee, in its Nov. 5, 1984 edition, notes: “Raley’s has opened a new superstore at 1601 West Capitol Ave. The 53,000-square-foot store represents a $1 million investment, the company said.”
That Raley’s store remains in business today, and its present store director is Sue Nelson.
Farmers Market No. 14
A Farmers Market was located at 2500 Meadowview Road from about 1970 to about 1981.
Albert C. Lew was that store’s first manager.
The site is presently home to the Sam and Bonnie Pannell Community Center.
Farmers Market No. 15
A Farmers Market opened at 10175 Folsom Blvd. in about 1970, and the store remained in business until about 1982.
On Oct. 7, 1984, The Bee reported: “Mike and Elaine Jackson have opened Canned Foods Grocery Outlet at 10175 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova. The Jacksons previously operated the Canned Foods Warehouse at 3015 W. Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento.”
In 2000, at the same site, Sang Chang and Yong Choe opened Total Outlet, which was once described in The Bee as a “small Kmart.”
A Hancock Fabrics store has also operated at the same address.
Farmers Market No. 19
It was also in about 1970 when Store No. 19 opened at 2730 Broadway.
Managers of that store included Benjamin Hom and Wing Chinn.
The store closed in about 1979.
Farmers Market No. 23
The 23rd store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 6645 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights in the 1970s. The site was previously home to the grocery business, Food World.
This Farmers Market store remained in business until about 1982.
In its Aug. 14, 1988 edition, The Bee, under the heading of “leasing activity,” notes that Cal-State Investments was attempting to have a bingo parlor constructed inside the 13,000-square-foot retail space at 6645 Auburn Blvd.
An update on those efforts was mentioned in the Nov. 4, 1993 edition of The Bee, as follows: “Plans to put a bingo parlor in a dilapidated former shopping center at 6645 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights have been dropped.”
2000 Howe Ave.
In 1971, a Kmart discount store was under construction at 2000 Howe Ave., at Cottage Way. The store, which during research for this article was not found to have received a store number, was in operation by the following year.
Suburban directories for the years 1974 through 1976 recognize the simultaneous existence of a Kmart store and a Farmers Market at 2000 Howe Ave.
Those directories also mention Frank Pence as the supermarket’s manager.
Farmers Warehouse Liquors made its debut with the opening of its first store in mid-1978.
Eventually, six of those stores were in operation, including a store at the Howe Avenue location.
The Howe Avenue store and three other Farmers Warehouse Liquors were sold to the Sacramento discount liquor chain, Liquor Mart, in April 1984.
In its June 12, 1985 edition, The Bee notes: “The independent super market (sic) chain, (Farmers Markets), grew to 35 stores before Fong sold it in 1977.”
The Farmers Markets chain entered into Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings in 1983, and the last of the stores were sold in the mid-1980s.