The People’s Open Market: Generations of Making Fresh Food Affordable

Affordable produce, open urban spaces, and local residents; simple ingredients The People’s Open Market has employed for over 40 years of community building on O’ahu.

Banyan St. Market, Palama, Oahu. November 1973.
Photo Cred: Rebekah Luke

Started in 1973 by the City and County of Honolulu, the People’s Open Markets (POMs) still continues today with the mission of providing affordable, fresh food to Oahu’s ever growing population. The market is said to have begun with Joyce Fasi, the wife of then Mayor Frank Fasi, who had heard other womens’ concerns about the high cost of food and living in Honolulu. True to their mission until today, the POMs staff recommend their vendors to sell at lower prices — usually 35% below retail prices in the city. All vendors of these markets also accept SNAP/EBT benefits and are a reliable resource if you’re looking to bring health and wellness into your home by way of inexpensive, freshly grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.

With a strong focus on affordability and accessibility, the People’s Open Market is held an astounding 25 times in just one week! Each market is held for 1 hour and is set at a different location, usually in areas well-populated with local residents. Another extraordinary aspect is the presence of aquacultural products in their markets! Aside from fresh vegetables, fruits, and flowers, there are also usually vendors who sell fresh ocean fish, pond fish, farmed shrimp, and prawns. Making meals at home has never been easier when you can find everything you need at a well-stocked farmers market like the POMs.

Going to these markets, you experience a beautiful intersection of agriculture and aquaculture, along with various cultures and the special foods found therein. Many of the POM vendors have been with the market for at least two generations and sometimes more. Vendor families pass down their knowledge and love for their communities along with the boxes, baskets, and crates of ripe, abundant produce they grow and sell. The People’s Open Market has become a home with open doors, where long-time residents can talk story, laugh together and relish in seeing a familiar face.

If you’re looking to feel at home in your neighborhood and enjoy affordable fresh food, this is the market for you. With so many venues and times to choose from, The Peoples Open Market rivals the chain stores on every corner of Waikiki strip. Let the convenience of food being grown and raised in your communities backyard be the cornerstone of your families dining table.

The Details:

Vendor Contact, David Lee, dlee7@honolulu.gov
honolulu.gov

  • Old Stadium Park – Wednesdays 8:15am – 9:15am
    2237 South King Street, Honolulu HI 96826
  • Kapiʻolani Park – Wednesdays 10:00am – 11:00am
    3840 Paki Ave, , Honolulu HI 96815

Markets that Accept SNAP/EBT:

Check out all Oahu Farmers Markets on our directory!

Want your farmers market highlighted on our blog? Email us at hawaiifarmersmarkets@gmail.com

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