Farmers Market Report: South Pasadena
South Pasadena farmers market
Farmers market: South Pasadena Farmers Market
When: Thursdays, 4-8 p.m.
Where: Meridian Avenue and El Centro Street, right next to the South Pasadena Gold Line Metro
Launched about 16 years ago, the South Pasadena farmers market has gone through some dramatic changes in the past few years. After the disbanding of Mission West Association, which ran the market for years, the City of South Pasadena needed a new operator. A five-year contract was awarded to the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, which took over operations in 2010.
According to Chamber president-CEO Scott Feldmann, the chamber did some cleaning up, ousting farmers who were buying produce wholesale and passing it off as farm-grown. The chamber clamped down with stricter standards, and that pulled in more shoppers with discerning tastes.
"That attracted the foodies and the true farmers market shoppers," he said. "Once we did that, it really turned things around."
In fact, Feldmann says, revenue at the market has increased 30% since 2011. He gives a lot of the credit to Carole Gallegos, the market's manager.
Gallegos said she prides herself in the diverse selection at the market, whose 65 to 70 vendors are about 60% produce booths (an increase from past years) and 40% other vendors. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the market boasts plenty of offerings you might not see at other markets, from raw milk to noshable vegan snacks and goat-milk soaps. Hot foods are a hot seller; many shoppers grab barbeque or visit the oyster bar before enjoying makeshift picnics and listening to live music on the lawn adjacent to the Metro Gold Line station.
Vendors Include: Vendors include Mt. Olive Organic Farm, Zuckerman's Farm, Moua's Farm, Rancho Mi Familia, Beylik Family Farms, Fair Hills Farms, Avila and Sons Farms, McGrath Family Farm, Living Lettuce Farms, Beer Brats, Shucks Oyster Bar, Chips y Salsa's, Raw Milk Products, Pizza of Venice, Planet Cookies, Gourmet Grill (rotisserie chicken), Baker's Best Bread and Homeboy Bakery.
Several farms sell fresh produce at the South Pasadena market.
Stevie St. John
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