The Family Behind Sunrise Nursery

In this installment of Beyond the Market, learn how the farmers’ markets helped propel this family flower business into a brighter future.

Meet the Fernandes family! Jose and Maria came to the United States as young adults from the Azores region of Portugal, and with some help from friends, they obtained a small plot of land in Watsonville. After starting their family, they wondered how to use their land better. What began as two parents working full-time jobs and using their spare time to grow a few varieties of flowers for wholesale, has evolved into a nearly 35-year-old family-run business that travels to more than 15 farmers’ markets. Inspired by what their parents have created, Steve and his younger brother Tim are working to ensure Sunrise Nursery’s sustainability for the upcoming 3rd generation.

Sunrise Nursery now owns multiple properties in the Watsonville area near the Monterey coast, where they grow more than 30 varieties of flowers. Their business has become a staple at many PCFMA farmers’ markets, such as the Brentwood Farmers’ Market, Inner Sunset Farmers’ Market in San Francisco, and the Vallejo Farmers’ Market. Find Sunrise Nursery in a farmers' market near you!