An Overview of Passionate Business Owners’ and Employee’s Companies 

By Lilly Martinez 

December 31, 2024

Each week, a number of businesses gather together in downtown Morro Bay on Main St. and Morro Bay Blvd. to set up booths and sell their products. The market runs from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. The products sold range from handcrafted jewelry and candles, to food prepared directly in front of the consumer. 

The farmers market does a beautiful job of bringing community members and tourists together to support local businesses. Most of the businesses also set up booths at other markets, some as far as Bakersfield. It’s also valuable to note that some businesses travel to Morro Bay from that far away and aren’t necessarily considered local. 

Some of the most important parts of supporting a business are knowing their stories, where they source their products from, and what their motivations are. After speaking with the owners or employees of just a few of the businesses set up at the Saturday market, it was clear that they are all very genuine and passionate about their work. 

Lucky Lucky Studios

Macey Hardridge, owner of Lucky Lucky Studios, is the creator, designer, and saleswoman of every piece the business produces. Lucky Lucky Studios was officially opened in March of 2020 and has been running steadily ever since. Hardridge handmakes jewelry, such as necklaces and bracelets, in which she features real flowers and insects that have passed away naturally. These products, and the occasional handcrafted antique watch necklace, can be found at the Morro Bay and SLO farmers markets, as well as in local storefronts such as Morro Made, High Tide, Hands Gallery SLO, and more. Hardridge believes it’s because of the creativeness her job allows and the other local business owners she gets to see every week that she falls more in love with her business everyday.  “[Farmers markets] are a way to have local creators or local farmers share their love and passion for the things they grow or create,” Hardridge claims, and that’s what she strives to do with her work. 

The California Bee Company

Sarah Linn, administrative assistant and market assistant of The California Bee Company, spoke very highly of the family business. Linn has known the family for 17 years, and the business has been running for 15.  At different markets ranging from Paso Robles to Orcutt and in local businesses, the company sells a variety of honey flavors in different sized bottles, honey sticks, honeycomb, and depending on the season, pollen and beeswax. Every product sold is non-processed and locally sourced. Occasionally, the company will also source honey from Santa Cruz, CA. “I think knowing where your food comes from is really important… and to know whose business you're supporting,” Linn shared. She also believes that farmers markets “humanize the food system.” 

Mushroom Munch

Christoph O’Brien, owner of Mushroom Munch, is the farmer and seller of all of the locally sourced products sold by his business. He sells his mushrooms at the Morro Bay and SLO farmers markets and collects his products from his farm in Edna Valley. O’Brien’s business has been running since May, 2021. Year-round mushrooms sold at the markets are shiitake, lion’s mane, and blue oyster. Seasonal mushrooms are gold oyster, pink oyster, and chestnut. Getting to know his customers on a personal level is one of O’Brien’s favorite parts of running his business. Because he only sells at the two markets, each one of his customers gets the opportunity to meet their seller face to face which can make buying his product feel more rewarding. 

KBR Images

Kathy Riedemann, owner of KBR Images, photographs, edits, prints, and frames each and every image she sells. The business has been running since 2016, but Riedemann has only been selling at Morro Bay and SLO farmers markets as well as holiday markets for three years. When visiting Riedemann’s booth at these markets, customers can find framed or matted photos. The photography is nature and animal based, as that is what the photographer is passionate about. Riedemann shared that when she was in high school and working, she used her first paycheck to buy a camera and she’s been extremely interested in photography since the release of digital cameras. She enjoys being a part of the farmers markets because it’s a pleasant way to be outside and bring the community together. Riedemann shared that when she first started exploring photography as a career, she kept working at her day-job to keep her income steady. Now that she’s retired, she focuses full time on her artistic work. She believes anyone who thinks they can make a living doing something so beautiful and fulfilling should take the chance.  

At the market, everyone brings their passion to share with all who attend. While it’s not always easy for the vendors, they continue to find a path forward to do what they love. Sarah Linn shared that all teenagers should be familiar with one piece of advice, “Be flexible with your idea of success.”