GiGi’s Farmers’ Market

Posted on May 12, 2009. Filed under: hodgepodge, review |

What do you get when you take a handful of food vendors and pair it with a production designer? GiGi’s Farmers’ Market.

Every Saturday from 10AM to 2PM, the Americana at Brand plays host to GiGi’s Farmers’ Market. Award winning production designer Kelly Van Patter was hired to create “an atmosphere that conjures the spirit of European marketplaces.” From a design perspective, at least, Van Patter’s work is a great success.

The market, named after developer Rick Caruso’s daughter, is, undoubtedly, the prettiest farmers’ market in Los Angeles. The vendors’ stalls are clean and bright, overflowing with beautiful looking food. The European homage is unmistakable. It looks as if the market is a permanent fixture, rather than a passing four hour fancy on Saturday afternoons.

Although the market is pretty, the uniformity takes a bit away from a true farmers’ market experience. It’s hard to imagine individual small farms, when all the vendors are wearing “GiGi’s Farmers’ Market” aprons. The illusion is further broken by having some of the Americana’s corporate tenants setting up stalls beside the family farms. It’s a very pleasant atmosphere, but, personally, I’m a bigger fan of the discordant hubbub of Sunday’s Hollywood market.

Diversity seemed to be the key word in choosing vendors for the market. In addition to the standard fruit & vegetable offering, shoppers at GiGi’s Farmers’ Market can expect to find French pastries, organic poultry, fresh fish, preserved and prepared foods, and a small spattering of hand-crafted items. Prices match those found at other Los Angeles farmers’ markets. 

Overall, the Americana’s addition of GiGi’s Farmers’ Market is a big plus. Sure, it might be a little more slick in design than other Los Angeles area farmers’ markets.  But, by being located in an open air mall, the market will attracted a huge amount of people who otherwise might never experience a farmers’ market. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy their experience enough to find other local farmers’ markets and pay them a visit.

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