THE STORY OF BONETTI RANCH AND THE SLO PUBLIC MARKET
The story begins with John Harford, a savvy lumber businessman and the first pioneer to purchase the approximately 80 acre site for his home and ranch. The property later evolved into the Long-Bonetti Ranch and is today the site for the San Luis Obispo Public Market.
While living on the Bonetti Ranch, Harford built the Harford pier in Avila to offload schooners with imported cargo from the big cities. He went on to build the narrow gauge railroad, carrying both passengers and cargo into town. John Harford’s hard work and dedication to the railroad and pier sparked a transformation for the city of San Luis Obispo into a diverse marketplace for the surrounding area.
Between 1880 and 1923 the property passed through the hands of Joseph D. Grant of San Francisco and George W. Long who both made significant additions to the ranch. In 1923, the Longs sold the ranch to Florino Bonetti who put good use to the fields by raising sugar beets, barley, wheat, flowers for seeds, sugar peas, cherry tomatoes, and grapes.
Located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo is one of California’s oldest communities with a growing population of approximately 280,000 people in the county. The high quality of life in San Luis Obispo draws individuals from all over California to choose our town as their home. San Luis Obispo is a vibrant city that is equal parts small town charm and new age spirit.
Woven into San Luis Obispo’s rich past is the Bonetti Ranch, founded in 1880. To preserve the historical landmarks of the property, the San Luis Obispo Public Market incorporates the restored farmhouse, barn, water tower and granary buildings
San Luis Obispo is a unique town characterized by its collection of tasteful cuisines and agricultural surroundings. With this in mind, our vision for the San Luis Obispo Public Market is to create a gathering place where people can sample and enjoy the best of the Central Coast.
The ranch itself boasts 4.18 acres, with 48,242 square feet dedicated to the Market Hall and surrounding shops. Totaling eight buildings, the San Luis Obispo Public Market blends the renovations of existing historic buildings with the construction of four new buildings housing restaurant and retail shops, a market hall, and a brewery.