Here comes the Sun(flower Farmers Market)

5.6.12 Update: Grand Opening = May 16, 2012 at 7am. There will be giveaways, tastings, specials, etc. Hurray!
5.1.12 Update: Word in the neighborhood is that opening day is coming mid-May.
4.6.12 Update: Sunflower Farmers Market has recently merged with Sprout Farmers Market. This will slow but not halt progress at the Sutterville Shopping Center.
Great news for our neighborhood this month! As reported in the Sacramento Bee, we'll likely be welcoming a Sunflower Farmers Market in the Sutterville Shopping Center (located at the corners of Del Rio Boulevard and South Land Park Drive). This seems like a great time to share with you what I've gathered on the history of the center, which was originally built in 1955.

The Sutterville Shopping Center was designed by Los Angeles architects Karel Kooper & Curtis C. Maybeck. Built with a steel and wood frame, the center was decorated with native stone and brick. The original occupants of the center were:
- a Cardinal super market;
- Land Park Pharmacy, owned by Joseph Russ and Ted Econome;
- a coffee shop owned by William Thompson;
- an interior decorating and furnishings store owned by Richard McClernon;
- a women's clothing store owned by Mrs. Andrew Bartolini and Mrs. Vera Wacholder;
- a variety and toy shop owned by Doris Gossling;
- Swift Cleaners dry cleaning shop;
- a barber shop owned by Louis Caldwell, and;
- a beauty shop owned by Charles Crowley.

As noted in a Sacramento Press article earlier this year, "The building near South Land Park Drive and Sutterville Road has always been anchored by a grocery store since its construction in the early 1950s – from Cardinal and Lucky Stores to Compton's Market and Wilco. But the 21,000-square-foot, ground-floor space has been empty since a Prime Market left about two and a half years ago."

According to this month's Bee article, Sunflower Farmers Market signed a 30 year lease at the Sutterville Shopping Center and "tenant improvements will begin immediately with major upgrades at the 30,000-square-foot store site...." Of course, I hope any exterior changes are consistent and sensitive with the shopping center's original mid-century modern architecture. For example, Parkside Pharmacy's remodel blends nicely with the center's original style, right down to the dimensional letters on top of the center's soffit.

Let's give a big welcome to Sunflower Farmers Market -- looking forward to having their wonderful store in our neighborhood!