Westwood Village Farmers’ Market offers a variety of small businesses to support
Pictured is the Westwood Village Farmer’s Market. The market occurs on Broxton Ave. every Thursday and features numerous small businesses. (Brandon Morquecho/Assistant Photo editor)
Oct. 31, 2023 9:17 a.m.
This post was updated Nov. 2 at 9:39 a.m.
Over 40 vendors set up for the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market on Broxton Avenue on Thursday.
The farmers market occurs every Thursday and is most popular for its fresh produce from local vendors – such as baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables – artisanal items, art and live music.
One of the vendors, Ayala Farms, is a woman- and family-owned farm that sells at the market weekly. Gelsi Ayala, whose mother runs the farm, said their most popular items are berries and commonly used produce such as tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and onions. Ayala added that having local farmers at the market allows people to choose where they get their produce from directly.
Emily Ruby, a first-year political science student, said the vendor selling pluots, a fruit that is a mix of plum and apricot, is her favorite part of the farmer’s market. She added that getting a wider variety of fruit is appealing since the options at the dining halls are limited.
“It feels like I’m home because my town is very agriculturally based, so we have farmers’ markets twice a week,” she said. “I feel like I’m home.”
The farmers market’s pre-prepared foods are also popular with the Westwood community.
Nicholas Carr, a business analytics graduate student, said he enjoyed his first time attending the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market on Thursday. Carr added that he was excited to try his vegan sandwich and soak in the atmosphere of the market.
“I always loved the different flowers and everything that they have blooming over there,” he said. “I think it’s good to support all the businesses and also just be a place that people can aggregate outside the classroom.”
Alejandra Chavez, a sales associate for One Fresh Cookie Co., said the company sells its vegan cookies every week at the market. Along with all of its cookies being vegan, the company features two gluten-free cookie flavors – s’mores and apple pie, the latter being its current seasonal flavor.
“We’re a great small business that’s based in LA focused on providing delicious vegan cookies,” she said. “They honestly make my day, and I hope (they) make your day too.”
The farmers market is known for its food but also features a large selection of curated clothes and home items.
Barbara McMahon, who runs Vintage Menu Art with her husband, said they upcycle old restaurant menus that are stained and damaged into digital prints.
“They come back to life again, and they make really fun art prints,” she said. “It’s kind of a part of America’s cultural (and) social history that shouldn’t be forgotten.”
Some individuals in the UCLA community enjoy attending the farmer’s market to get a break from school and living in a big city.
Adam Ali, a fourth-year anthropology student, said he comes to the market biweekly to restock on produce items, including strawberries, leafy greens and tzatziki. Ali added that he enjoys supporting local businesses that have the items he enjoys.
“All the stores around here are like Whole Foods and Target, these big corporations,” he said. “Versus when you come here, people are growing their own foods, running small companies, small bakeries – so it’s a nice way to support the community as well.”
McMahon said the Westwood Village Farmers’ Market gives small businesses the opportunity to sell their goods to the community.
“It’s certainly important to us as small businesses because we get a chance to come out onto the street and sell our wares,” she said. “People really still like to meet the person who’s selling something.”