For the past two weekends, we have visited the new Hollywood & Highland Farmers Market. The market is one of three Hollywood farmers markets (the others being Thursday’s Yamashiro Farmers Market and Sunday’s Hollywood Farmers Market) and is the riskiest as it is housed within the Hollywood & Highland complex–but not where you think it is. The market as of now is very OK but, like all farmers markets, it will get better once people start attending it and making it happen. How does it need to get better though?
The Hollywood & Highland Farmer’s Market opened on September 10 and is not necessarily an independent market but, rather, a co-op organized by a Farmers Market brand of sorts. That brand is California Certified Farmers Markets, who come by way of fresh living mogul Jennifer McColm. The H&H Market isn’t listed on either of those sites, no, but it is listed on the sub-to-the-sub site Raw Inspiration. It’s not really clear what the sub-brand is for, but here is what McColm says of it on the site:
Through our edible schoolyard program and our certified farmers’ market program, we are fulfilling our non-profit mission by promoting nutritional, local and organic fruit and vegetables to children and those who seek a healthy lifestyle.
This relates to the idea that the market is part of a “national education program,” “to educate children and adults on the importance of a healthy diet, especially on the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily.” However, the H&H Market did not seem to be that and, instead, was just confusing because it was slightly barren on both the consumer end and the retail end. Hopefully it will achieve that mission soon.
The market, located on Orange Drive, is in a great location that isn’t within the madness of the H&H shopping center but in the turnaround that is just West of it. It’s totally blocked off from cars and has ample security to ensure that visitors to the market are getting the best experience. Yet, little signage on the main streets outside of it will direct you there, which makes it not as easy to find (since Orange between Franklin and Hollywood is so discreet).
That seems like a problem, yes, but those are small potatoes because the market wasn’t a real market but a tiny gaggle of small batch sellers. There was a tent only selling strawberries, a tent only selling avocados, a tent of just kettle corn–things you “need,” but things you don’t need by themselves. Two weeks in a row we went there hoping to “go food shopping” and two times we left empty handed because it is too specialized at this point and not a real market: it’s a gathering of a few vendors selling very specific things. Similarly, there were a lot of ready-to-eat-food vendors rather than produce vendors, making the market seem more like a lunch spot rather than a place to go shopping for food.
This will change, we are sure. The market is a month and a half old and is stil gathering people to join selling their goods there and buying their goods there. It will grow and become an alternative to both the Yamashiro and Hollywood markets but–currently–it’s a good place to stop by to grab lunch or a little, healthy snack if you are in Hollywood between 8AM and 2PM on Saturdays. We’re going to keep our eyes on the spot and say small prayers that the market will mature nicely. For now, definitely support it because, duh, it needs it but do not anticipate it to be your local one-stop-shop for some time. Hopefully Ms. McColm will make it that way very soon.