Farmer's Market has broad appeal

Campus Times
September 20, 2002


by Melissa Lau
Managing Editor

It's a stimulation of all the senses. The smell of fresh, sweet popcorn fills the air while the bright flowers and unique jewelry appeal to the eyes. Homemade cookies, tamales, candy apples and fresh fruit make the mouth water just at a glance. Where do all these gifts come from? Nope, it's not the county fair; it's in La Verne's own backyard.

With a new location in the parking lot of the La Verne City Hall beginning last Saturday, the Farmers Market of La Verne offered a variety of treats for sale.

Maryann Stubblefield, manager of the La Verne Farmers Market, has been involved with the event for four years.

Stubblefield said the Saturday morning market could not block off a street in downtown La Verne, and a Saturday morning market has a different venue than an evening market.

The decision to change the market's location was not final until last Wednesday. Despite the small amount of time given to organize the market for Saturday, Stubblefield believes the final results at the new location will be positive.

"It's going to be a very, very good market," she said. "It's going to build to a very good market."

Moving from its former location in the parking lot at the University of La Verne Bookstore, the Market's few, however, talented vendors shared their wares.

One such vendor was Scratch Cookies and Bakery, owned and operated by Floyd Marks.

Marks began participating in the La Verne Farmers Market about a year ago, when it was still at the bookstore location. He also took part in the Tuesday night version of the Market as well as farmers markets at various locations, including Monrovia.

"I do different cities," Marks said. "It's good advertisement. It's half advertisement and half sales."

Marks said he began his business after being in the baking and restaurant business for a long time.

Although business at the new location was a bit slow, Marks said it would take time to pick up. He also said that the L.A. County fair had an impact.

"This is the first week, so it's gonna take some time for the city to advertise and let people know where it is," Marks said. "I think it will be a good location."

Food was not the only product offered. Flowers from Cho's Flowers in Somis, Calif. were also present.

Owner Kyu Cho traveled from his 20-acre land in Ventura County to La Verne to sell as many as 20 varieties of flowers. He said that in the spring he has even more varieties to offer.

His family-owned business has grown and shipped flowers for 21 years and has been a vendor at the La Verne Farmers Market for three years.

Like many of the vendors, Cho does various farmers markets, including the markets that were held on Tuesday nights. Cho did not mind the new location, but did miss some of his regular customers.

"I used to have a lot of steady customers there [downtown]," he said.

Like Marks, he also felt business was slow because it was the first day.

In addition to Cho and Marks, Anita Bagham, owner of Anita's crystals in Glendora, displayed her creations of belts and a selection of jewelry.

Bagham, who has been a Farmers Market participant for a year, said, "I enjoy doing crafts. It started as just for fun, but then it became a business." She added that she began this work seven years ago, but made it into a business three years ago.

Other vendors included Gourmet Tamales from San Fernando, Temptations candy apples and chocolate strawberries, Frutos Farms from Orange County, Violet Perfection by Gini, Cookie Lee­­fine fashion jewelry, Flotos Original Ma & Pa Kettlecorn, Nextel, a booth that sold Asian Pears and another that sold reversible bags. More vendors will participate in coming weeks.

Stubblefield said that during the off season of winter, the Farmers Market will be located at the City Hall location. During the summer, however, they hope to move it back to the downtown district. She said that the downtown merchants wanted to do something in the downtown area.

"They're very motivated and creative in downtown," Stubblefield said.

The summer farmers markets on Tuesday nights in downtown La Verne ended in August but will begin again next June.

Stubblefield is also looking forward to projected events that will correspond with the upcoming holidays.

During fall and winter, the Saturday Farmers Market will continue to provide goods to the community from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday in the parking lot of La Verne City Hall.

Prices for renting space vary among vendors. Vendors are supplied with the location and electricity.

Anyone interested in becoming a vendor can contact Stubblefield at (909) 599-7759.