Hilo Farmers Market Insider Tips, Big Island, Hawaii

Sharing Aloha at Hilo Farmers Market

As I wandered the aisles of the Hilo Farmers Market, I was lamenting my “carry -on packing policy” decision. I would be able to take home Filthy Farmgirl soaps, Hilo Sharks coffee and handcrafted earrings and matching pendant from a local crafts woman, but I would NOT be able to bring back any Broke the Mouth Passion Mango salad dressing or Leslie’s Menehune Kitchen Apple Banana Butter from the Hilo Farmers Market due to TSA’s airline regulations restricting liquids in carry on luggage. Boo hoo!

Ratanas "Spring Rolls" "Hilo Farmers Market" Hilo, Hawaii, Nancy D Brown
Stop by Ratana’s food cart at Hilo Farmers Market for spring rolls

Hilo Farmers Market Humble Beginnings

The Hilo Farmers Market has come a long way since its debut in 1988. Conceived and developed by Richard “Mike” Rankin, the Hilo Farmers Market had a humble beginning with only four farmers who sold their goods from parked cars and trucks. Today, the market has grown to over 200 vendors selling everything from locally grown tropical flowers, to fresh island fruits and vegetables, special Big Island food products and handmade crafts made with Aloha.

Named one of the best Farmers Markets in the West by California-based Sunset Magazine,  you’ll find good deals on produce, Spam musubi, Ratana’s Green Papaya Salad and spring rolls sold from her food cart, Puna goat cheese or special gifts that say “The Big Island” at The Hilo Farmers Market.

Did you know that the Hilo Farmers Market was the first open market in the nation to be federally approved to accept food stamps?  True to the Big Island’s welcoming spirit, the Hilo Farmers Market is accessible to everyone.

I had a chance to speak with Hilo Farmers Market Director Keith De La Cruz during my visit to Hawaii’s Big Island. Look for De La Cruz cameo appearance drinking fresh coconut water in the YouTube video I created at the Hilo Farmers Market.

What are your favorite things to do in Hilo, Hawaii?

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If You Go:

Hilo Farmers Market (808) 933-1000

Corner of Mamo St. and Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, Hawaii, 96721-0034

Thanks to Big Island Visitors Bureau and Jessica Ferracane of Irondog Communications for assistance with this post. You may also follow the Hawaiian Island on Twitter or become a Facebook Fan of Hawaii. I was a guest of Big Island Visitors Bureau. Article, YouTube video and photos by Nancy D. Brown

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in Hilo, Hawaii

Horseback Riding on Paani Ranch, Big Island


6 thoughts on “Hilo Farmers Market Insider Tips, Big Island, Hawaii”

  1. My secret weapon for must-have souvenirs when I’m only traveling with a carry on: USPS flat rate boxes. Although it wouldn’t work for the perishables. Fun video!

  2. Great post Nancy. I am headed to the Hilo Farmer’s Market in just a little bit. I live in HIilo and consider the market one of the great treasures of Hilo. Regarding the USPS boxes, you can pre-print a shipping label with postage from home (just be sure that you use the destination’s Zip Code in the “shipping from address.) A flat rate large box can hold quite a bit and you can use your dirty clothes to wrap things in, leaving more room for the other treasures you find.

    Love your blog! I am going to subscribe.


  3. Great video .. but two wonderful Hilo Market treasures missing: Shell lei and hand silk screened canvas bags by Dana Castro and Randy Lee and the best pickles and kim chee on the planet by Mrs Govay, just down (makai) from the lauhala bracelet woman.


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