Fresh Food & Handmade Goods in PR

One of the ideas I have when I get down is that I'd like to start a small business, maybe a hobby farm or store, and sell some produce or goods at locally.

What's the food situation like down there? Are there farmers markets? Is it expensive to buy fresh produce/eggs/honey? What about homemade canned/baked goods?

Also, are there any handmade things that are hard to find that you'd like to see? I knit, sew, do cardmaking, soapmaking, and other crafts, so I'm pretty open when it comes to making stuff.

What do you guys think?

Hi there ! I just moved to PR, last October.
I love it here, I don't understand all the bad comments about this island. Yes there are good and bad, just like everywhere else on the planet.
However, I feel very disappointed about how little food it is actually produced in the island.
Before moving here I thought my dream to have a more organic "live" would be easier here. Not so much. There is a farmers market in condado every first Sunday of the month from 9 to 5. There is plenty arts and crafts, local food etc, but not much local produced fruits and vegetables.
I have not been to Placita Santurce farmers market yet, but I'm planing to go soon.
Summarizing, in my opinion we need much more organic producers in the Island. If you decide to do something along this line, keep me informed.
By the way, there is not much access to fresh local fish in my area as well.
I live in Condado.
Good luck

The organic movement is not as strong in PR as in the states, but you can find some. Besides farmers markets (organic or not) you can also find vendors around some of the major arteries of PR and around the most frequented roads to and from beaches.

Other will likely tell you of Rincon area Organic vegetables. Well yes, but that is a bit far for you. Most PR want to eat within their budget, Organic is not high in their list since normally you end up paying more for it. However non commercial farms in PR typically raise their crops with what the dirt has or add some manure, chemicals are not cheap so they tend not to use them but they can not call it organic.

Not sure if they are still doing it, but back in the old times there were a lot of vendors running a truck around the neiborhoods, they would be selling fish, and vegetables. Just like the ice cream trucks, you hail them when they go by. But they may have disappeared and I am not sure about Condado, but Isla Verde and Loiza may have them.

PR government is trying to bring back agriculture, I was just reading that they are loaning land to people that want to grow and when they prove themselves, sometimes they give you the title for the land, so basically you got it for free. The other day there was a ceremony about that, where 90 people got tittle to the land they have been working for a while.

Hi,  we've been here about two months now.  Produce in the grocery stores is imported and expensive- not much organic. 

Lots of roadside vendors selling fruits and vegetables , local mostly.

I think the market for locally grown organic produce is ripe for picking 🤗

We tried to grow a few plants - tomatoes and peppers but they died in the salty air.  I guess we will be getting our vegetables at the stand.

There is a new farmers market in Luquillo. I have not been there yet. Look up their website
There is a website called (yes, there are two 'w's) that has a worldwide network of organic farms, including Puerto Rico where you can learn organic farming.
There is a weekend flea market outside of Guayama. The word used in Puerto Rico is pulguero.
Just as in the states, there are many local fairs where people sell stuff andtrue  artisans fairs mostly around the holidays.
And, if you are interested, I know two fabric stores in Humacao and one amazing store in Fajardo. I already have a fabric stash here in PR for my growing list of PHDs: Projects Half Done.

Since you live in Condado, you should check out the Farmer's Market (Mercado Agricola)  every Saturday morning at the San Juan Museum in OSJ.  Lots of great stuff there!

There are a handful of markets in the metro area and then heading east to Luquillo. Some weekly, bi-weekly and monthly. Here is a good reference list on Puerto Rico Day Trips website. There are even a few CSA's here which I found very surprising. In addition, most municipalities will have local produce sold in the town squares/mercados usually on the weekends some time.  Not to mention, the 100's of road side stands selling wonderful local produce.

PR is just now catching wind that ppl love farm fresh eggs, I have only seen a couple of places that have them regularly but I know that a lot of ppl are also buying chicks in droves to raise for egg production. The prices are very fair for fresh eggs, similar to what you would find in the US. Same goes for honey, baked goods, etc. Though some of the baked goods can get expensive depending on where you go. A good rule of thumb is the closer to the metro area you are, the higher the prices. The highest prices I have found are in Old San Juan.

The most expensive items are things like lettuce, kale, spinach, etc. When I bought (local farms) similar items in the states they were at least 1/2 the price as they are here.

There are canned items but they are mostly sauces of some sort, usually fruit or pepper based. But tbh, I haven't really zeroed in on those, I am going mostly for produce/eggs/plants.

Things that are typically sold at markets are produce, sweets, breads, flowers,  "medicinal" oils/plants, plants, prepared foods (usually with a health slant - we are still in the acai rapture ) soaps, sewn bags/wallets and lots of leather craft, usually belts, key fobs, the usual suspects. Every now and then you'll find a potter or wood carver.

Personally, I would love to see some hand sewn garments. Dresses, skirts, totes, etc. I have had a hell of a time finding a mid length skirt here, it's all minis or maxis. Brings lots of fabric anyway since finding really cute/unique prints are hard to come by without a lot of searching and a hefty price tag.

How much for a really nice head of Lettuce?
I will assume non organic so specify if organic.
I pay 1.99 to 2.99 depending on season here in MA and they are good but not great.

Organic is $5.00 and they're not very big. I like to eat salads as a main course and one bunch will give me one salad. $5 will also get you 5 broad kale leaves. :( At Costco, you can get 5 romaine hearts for the same price so that's what I typically buy. The organic is much better for you but I can't see spending almost $100 on just lettuce a month. I easily go through 5 bunches a week. If I can find some good compost, I am going to grow my own this spring/summer. :)

Using hydroponics, a head of lettuce grows in about 30 days, it requires little electricity since most of the power is for aerators like the ones in fish tanks and a pump to keep the liquid circulating. In PR it probably would cost about .11 cents to grow a head of lettuce. No need for lamps, plenty of sunlight. Selling at 3-5 dollars a head it makes a nice profit.
Oh and no dirt or sand in the lettuce!!!

I don't have the room or adequate light inside and my condo won't like me having that set up outside. For now, compost is cheaper for me. Some day though..some day!

There is always Hydroponic lettuce grown in PR that looks fresh in Supermax and Amigo. I don't remember the exact price but it is around $1 something to $2 for a head! Not bad

Hi John, how are you and Evelyn doing? We are doing great.  I'm sorry that your tomatoes and peppers didn't make it. Ray who is the green thumb, had a great crop of tomatoes this season and also some lemons, ajises(hot peppers), green peppers, avocados (even though the season is over, the tree is flowering already), cucumbers and he has had some watermelon. We also have a guayaba tree and a papaya tree.  Just wish that he could grown some lettuce. He tried a while back and some grew but they didn't last.

What he has planted also are Gandules (Green Pigeon Peas) and they are growing but not enough to make stewed yet.  He has a plantain tree but isn't producing fruit as is the orange and grapefruit trees.
I would love that.  When you come over, you will see our garden.

Take care,



I have been to both Amigo and Supermax and have not seen what you have. I am in the mid-northern part of the island so that might account for it. What part of the island are you on?

I don't have a green thumb at all, but I've been growing kale for about a year now.  I bought some garden soil, one of those long flower containers and some seeds at Home Depot.  I grow it on my patio in the shade, and water every other day.  I live 1 block from the beach, the salt air hasn't affected the yield.  I get enough leaves for a small bunch every other week.   
I'm also growing (from seed) some tomatoes in pots, as well as snow peas and zucchini. 
The sun is brutal on the plants, but the right amount of sunlight and plenty of water seems to be the key to success (experienced gardeners probably won't be surprised to hear that, but as a novice it was a revelation to me!) 
Good luck and have fun with your garden.

If you are close to the sea it is likely the dirt has too much salt, spray can fly high during storms and some salt water seeps inland.
Not all plants can take the direct sun in PR, you can shade it or use screens to eliminate direct sun all day long. Planting inside then moving them outtside does the trick a lot of times.

If you like Cilantro, try growing Recao.  Very nice flavor much like Cilantro but a bit milder.  It'll grow pretty much anywhere.  I took a handful of seeds that my friend gave me and threw them on the ground, and a couple of weeks later I had Recao growing.  Great in salsas and on salads.  Here is a wikipedia entry:

Hi Karen, I'm in Dorado. Next time I'm at the store I'll check the brands and prices and post them here.

Thanks Dora, I'd appreciate that! Dorado just a couple towns over for me. Cheers..

check the net for lists of salt tolerant plants - I am learning.   My plants  in a pot in the back, sheltered from the sea seem to be doing better.

Planted a lime and lemon tree, they seem to be growing and doing ok so far.  of course, the coconut palms are doing very well and we have several coconuts that drop from time to time.  Which reminds me - I read that several hundred people are killed every year by falling coconuts!   Should I wear a football helmet when sleeping in the hammock under the coconut palm?   :cool:

Yea dont park the car anywhere under a palm tree or mango tree. Helmet may be hot but offer some protection.
You just got to PR and you have all thise trees already?

The coconut palms were already there, about 25' tall and full of cocos.  A few have fallen on the sand and we are picking them up to use later.

I planted a lemon and lime, each about 12" tall.  They are showing new leaves and seem to be doing well.  I give them a little organic fish fertilizer once a week.   I grew citrus trees in Texas when we lived there.  They grew fast and we had fruit in a couple years.

My friends have really nice (super big) mango trees here, l want to plant a couple but don't think them will tolerate the salt air very well??  But if I get a free tree, I'll give it a try.

In PR there are a lot of varieties of Mangos and Bananas, some taste like Apples.
Check around you for mango trees growing, if they grow a house or two away, you got a shot.

It's a little off-topic but I googled the coconut thing:

It's possible but very unlikely, like getting bitten by a shark or struck by lightning. The high numbers are an urban myth.

Also, here's a cool site I found. It has a page on growing mangoes: … ngoes.html

Hi Karen, Here are the prices for the Hydroponic lettuce at Supermax. I know they have it at Amigo also. The brand is Lettufresh and they have Romaine at $1.97 pk  and Salanova at $3.47 pk. Hope that helps.

Thanks Dora, I will give it a try next time I am there, Cheers!

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