Bill & Judy Fujimoto Leave Monterey Market


Many people looked here to find information about what was happening with Monterey Market and Bill Fujimoto.  We remain very concerned and will try to post updates as we have them. Yesterday, Bill and Judy Fujimoto were no longer employed by Monterey Market.  Although it had been reported that Bill will be retiring, this is not the case.  Bill needs to work.  But, after making Monterey Market his whole life for the past thirty years, he’ll take some time to figure out what he wants to do next.  Many, including us, remain hopeful that the family board will come to their senses.  We’ll also be talking to local farmers as they  figure out how Bill’s leaving will be affecting them.  Lisa Brenneis sent us the following report of the scene at Monterey Market on Wednesday.From: Lisa Brenneis
Date: June 4, 2009 11:21:45 AM PDT
Subject: Monterey Market bids farewell to Bill and Judy-short report and pics

For those friends who missed Bill and Judy’s last day as employees of the Monterey Market:

Here’s an eyewitness account of the scene as they departed:

“Yesterday afternoon’s gathering at Monterey Market was very fine, and emotional. A crowd of about 200 people filled the street adjacent to the parking lot (the cross street of Hopkins) and when Bill and Judy came out everyone started clapping and continued with enthusiastic applause for a really long time. Tears and cheers.

Bill made a short statement, along with a few interjections from Judy, that was all about how much he loves what he does and that the strength of it all comes from the farmers, staff, and community of shoppers. Someone supplied a box of delicious cherries for the crowd, Bill and Judy were decked with Leis, and everyone stood about talking, sharing thoughts and memories. It was really came across as a heartfelt demonstration of support, thanks, and appreciation for the tremendous contributions Bill and Judy have made to so many communities these past many years.”

Here’s the link to a small web slideshow of yesterday’s event — pictures by Travis Fretter and Jon Brenneis (my dad!):

If you have decided to take action, either by contacting the new management to express your support for Bill and Judy and/or temporarily boycotting the store, please send an email to to let support coordinators know — so they have a rough count and a place to go to contact supporters with occasional updates.


Community support continues to build, and a number of events are being planned. We will post updates on such events when we hear about them.

A  celebration to honor Bill and Judy Fujimoto  will occur on Sunday, June 28 from 2-5pm at MLK Jr Park  (between the track and the pool on Hopkins St.)  This event is open to everyone in the community.

7 Responses to “Bill & Judy Fujimoto Leave Monterey Market”

  1. Julia Elliott

    I will no longer shop at Monterey Market, until Bill returns.
    I have been a customer since you were in the old store. I shop at least once a week and spend an average of $100-$150 per trip.

  2. Ethan parker

    I will no longer shop at Monterey Market until Bill returns.

  3. David Visher

    Bill Fujimoto’s Monterey Market has had deeper and broader influence than most people realize. For years he has been the point of contact between communities that barely knew each other in the beginning; shoppers, chefs, and farmers. He educated and learned from each, then built out the relationships into long term secure friendships. He quietly created a revolution. We need Judy and Bill back.

  4. Dan

    We only moved here a few years ago, in part to be closer to the Monterey Market. I have a love/hate relationship with the market. I love the great food, hate that a lot of it goes off quickly. I suppose that is the price you pay for having it picked at the peak of ripeness. Ok, so you love Bill, but killing what he built because he isn’t there anymore? Seems drastic. But if lots of you boycott there will be more parking. Fight to get them back, but don’t kill it.

  5. Carol M. Hurwitz

    I am a second generation shopper at Monterey (Foods) Market. This doesn’t make any sense at all. This is a unique market and certainly doesn’t need to be made any different. The CD Eat At Bill’s made me love the place even more.

  6. Joshua Chavanne

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, Bill is not just a figurehead – he was a buyer. I cannot say that whoever is to take his place will be able to guarantee the quality that he was able to discern. As a former employee and loyal shopper, I cannot find myself shopping at the store unless Bill and Judy are reinstated. It will NOT be the same store as a building is just four walls… it takes the people to make it what it really is.

    Best of luck to Bill and Judy!

  7. Emeterio Balparda

    Hey people from Monterey Mkt.,
    In my country, Uruguay, we do produce natural fruits and vegetables, which are also sold in public street markets. Their offer is usually cheaper but not necessarily better in quality matters. We don’t have a function caring about how things should be done indide the market. So the real good service of any market here, depends on the whole of the people. This means “nobody” better than a responsible team, caring about good market services. I wish we had a Bill & Judi if they were what i imagine. Rgds. Eme Balparda from Uruguay S.America