By Samantha SLAYBACK
In January, the weekly farmers market in Glendale changed location and was rechristened the Downtown Glendale Market. Along with these changes, the market also underwent new management. Previously it was run by the city and when local businesses started complaining that the market was blocking their shops, the city planned to shut it down. Luckily, the Downtown Glendale Association stepped in. The DGA worked with the city and it was agreed that if the market location were changed, the association would take over the management of the weekly event.
The Downtown Glendale Market is now located on Maryland Avenue in the First Baptist Church parking lot behind the Alex Theatre. In exchange for using the parking lot, the DGA makes a donation to the church every week. The market can be found every Thursday morning from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. but has suffered the loss of some customers due to the change in location.
“Even though the market moved just around the corner, it’s still hard for some people to find,” explained new manager Carole Gallegos.
The weekly market has a wide variety of vendor tents each week. Produce, eggs, nuts, olive oils, pastries and jewelry are offered to market visitors. Guests might also hear some tunes from local musicians who have set up their instruments for the day. On a recent Thursday, guitar duo Cliff and Laura were on the scene to offer entertainment.
Though some vendors only display their wares once a month, others are consistently on-site every week. But no matter who shows up, shoppers are guaranteed variety. Some products are organic while others are not, but all are certified by the state.
“I do farm checks myself to check their legitimacy and to make sure they’re selling what they claim to be selling,” said Gallegos.
Michael Dean is one of the regular vendors at the market. He promotes Healthy Butter, his own certified organic line of nut spreads.
“Everything besides the sea salt is certified organic,” Dean assured.
Aside from the usual peanuts, Healthy Butter spreads use macadamia nuts, cashews, walnuts, and more along with other organic ingredients like fruits, seeds and oils. Dean enthusiastically explained his reasoning behind the diverse use of ingredients.
“Variety is the spice of life – not one nut has all of the nutrition,” he said.
Not only are these products good for the body, they’re good for the environment as well. Dean and his partner Adrian are very passionate about protecting the earth and the creatures that inhabit it. As a result, a portion of their sales is dedicated to helping endangered animals. To learn more about Healthy Butter, visit www.healthybutter.org.
Gallegos emphasized that some of the vendors travel a long way to bring healthy choices to the Glendale community.
“Some come from as far as Santa Maria, Bakersfield, and even Fresno,” she said. “They come from all over to sell fresh fruit and vegetables and we’d really like the community’s support.”
The market is expecting new vendors beginning in the next couple of weeks and the association is always looking for more vendors. As Gallegos made very clear, “We are always looking for a nice selection.”
For more information on the Downtown Glendale Market or how to get involved, visit www.downtownglendale.com/dgmarket.