Inaugural open market begins in downtown Marysville

Oct. 4—Historic Chinatown in downtown Marysville added another feature on Saturday with the opening of an inaugural open market, founded by Chinatown native Gordon Tom.

Tom, 81, a long-time business owner in Marysville, said the Marysville Historic Chinatown Open Market is his final venture in town. It is scheduled to be open the first Saturday each month alongside the opening of the Chinese American Museum of Northern California, the Chinese School and The Bok Kai Temple.

Tom is hoping the open market brings more life to 1st and C streets. There are currently 14 vendors at the market, Tom said, with space for up to 25 in the area next to the Chen Ling Chinese Garden and the levee.

Most of the vendors are local, he said, and have brick and mortar businesses in Yuba County.

Bertha Avila, an Olivehurst resident and long-time advocate for Yuba County, set up her booth on Saturday as an extension to her business on 4th Street called California Diversified Services. Avila is planning to be at the open market each month with holiday-themed inventory for sale.

At the Nov. 5 open market, Avila will be bringing fall- and Thanksgiving-themed treats for the public. In December, Avila turns the page to Christmas, while February will have Valentine's Day goodies for sale.

Avila said she loves the open market idea as a way to build up Chinatown to what it once was decades ago.

"I think it is an awesome idea," Avila said. "It's my town (and) where I built a business from nothing, and I am still here. I hope to be here for many years to come."

Tom's vision of the market was full circle: He started his first business at his children's home at 310 1st Street back in 1963 and now he is ending his career back home in hopes of reinvigorating Marysville's Historic Chinatown.

For more information on how to become a vendor, contact Open Market Associate Judy Mann at 530-740-2418 or through email at

Mann can also be reached at the Info-Center at 317 4th Street in Marysville.