IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to spend a morning at the Laguna Beach Farmers Market and not leave feeling grand. Vendors offer unlimited samples, shoppers exude breezy friendliness, and everyone is ready for a chat. Kindness and positive vibes are as pervasive as the sunshine. It’s no wonder that so many locals have made the market a part of their Saturday routines—a place to stock up on groceries, grab a snack, and connect with the community.
Though the farmers market features more than a half-dozen produce sellers—both organic and locally grown—its vendor lineup has become increasingly eclectic in recent years. Food tents, florists, and fish mongers all coexist side-by-side. This diversity benefits the guest; it’s not a shock to return home from a market trip with a bunch of kale, a flat of strawberries, a jar of honey, and some steaks for the grill.
Here are a few more highlights to leave room for in your cloth shopping bag:
GRAMMY’S GRANOLA: After being downsized from her corporate job, Janet Braver began hawking her homemade granola on the farmers market circuit. This new trade seems to be a natural fit, considering Braver’s warm personality and skill in the kitchen. She stands behind her products, literally—working the booth herself each week, with a broad smile and lots of samples. Grammy’s promises “only ingredients you already know,” one reason why their granola blends and specialty breads have gained such a steady following. TRY: Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. www.GrammysGranola.com
FRONT PORCH POPS: Since launching in 2011, Front Porch Pops has gone gangbusters with their stylized take on popsicles and ice cream bars. Flavors like Raspberry Plum Basil and Blood Orange Strawberry aren’t just Farmers Market inspired, they’re actually made with produce sourced from fellow vendors. Front Porch Pops recently opened a storefront in Orange, but they remain loyal market attendees—connecting with farmers and offering market goers the ideal mid-morning treat. TRY: Grapefruit Ginger Lime or Dark Chocolate Sea Salt. www.FrontPorchPops.com
LAGUNA SALT CO.: Laguna Salt Co. is an artisanal brand operating right out of Laguna Beach. The company produces a variety of salt blends infused with flavors ranging from ghost pepper to Tahitian vanilla. Both home cooks and accomplished chefs have quickly taken to the product line—the salts are perfect for finishing off dishes, boosting flavor, and adding an element of surprise to the plate. TRY: Kona Bean Sea Salt paired with lamb chops. www.LagunaSalt.com
SOLA FOODS: The crew at Sola Foods literally calls out to passers by to offer a taste of their jams and spreads. Each recipe is uniquely playful—often combining sweet and spice in unexpected ways. Their hearty pestos work just as easily with pastas or spread on crackers. The highlight of Sola’s lineup is their famous Cheeky Kiwi, which marries the bright and sweet flavors of kiwi fruit with the heat of jalapeño. TRY: You guessed it! Cheek Kiwi. www.SolaFoods.com
LAGUNA COFFEE COMPANY: Laguna Coffee Company actually has a storefront in town, along PCH. But that doesn’t stop them from setting up each Saturday to sell beans, which were hand roasted just a mile from the market site. The LCC crew is passionate about both their coffee and their community—making them a perfect fit for the farmers market. TRY: The Laguna Blend. www.LagunaCoffeeCo.com
We also can’t fail to mention the spectacular empanadas, the handmade pasta, the orange-honey roasted almonds, and the tart-tasting pomegranate juice. It’s no wonder everyone’s so friendly—the Laguna Beach Farmers Market is packed with enough surprises to make you glad you visited and leave you eager to come back the next week.
See you Saturday!
Laguna Beach Farmers Market
Forest Avenue and Broadway/133
Laguna Beach, California