Primavera | CUESA

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Gary Yost Photography





Karen Taylor Waikiki, along with 24 full-time and 4 part-time employees.


Karen started Primavera in 1991 after years of working as the chef at a Mexican restaurant in Sonoma. Maurilia Pineda is the kitchen manager, overseeing the team. All of Primavera’s products are made by hand in a commercial kitchen. Corn masa (the main ingredient in tortillas and tamales) is made both fresh from dried corn and from pre-ground corn flour. Fresh masa is made by soaking dried white corn with lime (the mineral) and then milling it in a 15-horsepower stone grinder. Primavera is always experimenting with new recipes; Karen’s Mexican employees have made several contributions to their menu.


Primavera uses many organic products, including corn, corn flour, tomatoes, squash, melons, chiles, and eggs. Many fresh vegetables are sourced directly from local farms; the remaining are purchased through a local supplier that sources nationally and internationally. Corn and beans are grown in the United States. Pork and beef come from Niman Ranch, and chicken comes from various local suppliers.

Fun Fact

In Primavera’s first 17 years in business, Karen’s 17 full-time employees had 17 children.


Boyes Hot Springs, California


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »