By Sophia Pilot
April 7th, 2021
Every Sunday between 9 am and 2 pm, the Malibu Farmers Market can be counted on to feature fresh fruits, vegetables, and prepared food.
The Malibu Farmers Market was founded in 1998 as a fundraiser for the Cornucopia Foundation, a hands-on environmental education program for schools. Many students have visited the Cornucopia gardens near the Malibu High School tennis courts for onsite ecological instruction. Manager and Co-President of the Cornucopia Foundation, Debra Bianco, has always had a passion for food and bringing people together. She admires the community drive behind the market, which ultimately keeps her going through the challenges.
The Market has not only faced the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, but also the construction of the Santa Monica College Malibu extension campus behind the Farmers Market location. The new campus will include the construction of a 27,500 square foot educational facility, projected to be completed in 2022.
Most vendors travel from all over Southern California to attend the Market each Sunday. There have been vendors who have remained for several years, and others who have come and gone. One favorite that disappeared was the Thai Street Food vendor, GaiGan. The reason for the turnover is unknown, but from speaking with the vendors, it could be the long drives, limited sales, or issues with the management.
Arrive at the Market early to ensure that you can get the best selection of foods and parking spots. On one end of the Market, you will find prepared food, ready to take to the beach. The prepared food vendors are always changing, but you can count on freshly cracked coconuts from Mingle’s Coconuts, A&J sweet and savory crepes, and pita chips and hummus from Aliki’s Greek Taverna.
The colorful sign will draw you to Viva Mexico Foods, where you will taste the best spicy guacamole ever. Across from the salsas, you will find Livia’s, a family-owned gluten-free, vegan cookie business. The most popular cookie is the peanut butter chocolate chip, and it sells out quickly so make sure you’re in the line early. Other favorites include fresh pasta, fresh squeezed juices, olive oils, and baked goods.
Denny’s Organic Farms, Alcantar Organics, Gourmet Specialties, and Etheridge Organics Farms make up a majority of the Market’s fresh fruits and vegetables. Pick up the delicious Sumo, Cara Cara, and blood oranges from Etheridge Organic Farms before they go out of season in a few weeks.
At the other end of the Market, you will find art and clothing boutiques selling masks, jewelry, and clothes. The unique, handmade-goods are a great gift to buy to bring a piece of the Market home with you.
The Market is doing well but most vendors are anxious for the summer season for the tourist sales, but for now, the locals are enjoying the community aspect of the Market.