Customers who line up for sweet corn, ice cream, olive oil and other goods produced by Fresno State students now have new place to shop for their favorite items. This morning the university celebrated the grand opening of a new Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market on the Fresno State campus.
“Between our customers and our students, it is nearly impossible to say who is more excited,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. “This new space beautifully showcases our student produced products and will make for a far more pleasant shopping experience for customers.”
Retail floor space of the new market is nearly double that of the original facility. The new 4,800 square foot Farm Market has 2,500 square feet of retail floor space.
New features include a hand-dipped ice cream counter and wine tasting room.
The market is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Special gifts, discounts and free wine tastings are available the week of March 18th.
The new market is possible because of a $1.5 million dollar bequest from the estate of Joyce Mae Gibson to improve the facility. When the gift was announced in 2008, the Farm Market was renamed to honor her parents, Rue and Gwen Gibson.
Fresno State President John D. Welty marked the opening with a ribbon cutting this morning. He was joined by Dr. Boyer, Ag Foundation Board Chair Pat Ricchiuti, students of the Jordan College and Joyce Gibson’s sister Beverly Knobloch.
“I know my sister would be so pleased with this stunning new building that pays tribute to my family while supporting the fine work of Fresno State students,” said Knobloch.
Benefactor Joyce Gibson began her career in education before becoming a prominent local attorney, practicing with her father Rue Gibson. They were among the first father-daughter legal teams to practice in Fresno. Gwendolyn “Gwen” Gibson is a Fresno State alumnus who taught for 20 years in Fresno County.
The Fresno State Farm Market started as an outdoor stand on the corner of Barstow and Chestnut avenues. In 1986, the market moved indoors into a corner of a structure where grapes and stone fruit were packed. In the early 1990s, walls and a ceiling were built to define the market space.
The farm market sells products grown, processed and packaged from the University Farm Laboratory. “The ability to have a retail outlet on campus to showcase the work of Fresno State agriculture students has been invaluable and has allowed the local community to help support our student projects,” said Boyer. “Students, with the assistance from faculty and unit enterprise staff, learn how to create new value-added products which provides them a hands-on experience that supports their academic and research experience.”
More than $1 million in products are sold through the market each year, including the popular Fresno State sweet corn, award-winning wine and sausage.
The Gibson Farm Market is operated by the Agricultural Foundation of California State University, Fresno, a recognized auxiliary organization.
For more information, contact Kathleen Schock with university communications at 559.278.2756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.