Facts:

General:

When I walked up to the market, my first thought was, “This is it?”  The market is very small: one tent.  There are roughly 2 small aisles worth of produce, with an endcap of shelving.

Pros:

There are a few things that I liked about this market.  The main one being that they are open multiple days, and are open both Saturday and Sunday.  Most markets are on weekdays and I work full-time.  And the few that are open on the weekend are not convenient are too far away to make the drive worth it.

The other thing that this market had going for it was that what organic produce they did have was very well priced.

Cons:

Maybe I had very high expectations for this market, but I left quite disappointed.  First, the Size.  This market is very, VERY small compared to others I have visited. They look to only have the one vendor, which obviously will cut down on selection.

Which brings me to my next point, the Selection.  Most of these varieties and products were not from local farms (and by local, I mean 150 mile radius). This is one of the main reasons I like Farmers Markets: supporting local agriculture and knowing that it didn’t have to travel far to make it to my table. What I saw at this market were varieties as you would find in your local supermarket, including brand names like Driscoll and Dole. There were also very few organic varieties. Those that were available were the brand names (I purchased organic & conventional, because I had planned to make this my main produce shopping this week and conventional is better than none at all).  There are several local farms that would be able to provide organic produce to them.  This honestly appeared to be the produce section of a grocery store.  I kept looking to see if maybe there was a store in the mall that I had missed somewhere. One that had this tent as an outdoor section, like a greenhouse. I can usually count on seeing and trying new varieties that I haven’t seen before, or being able to ask the farmer about growing practices, best ways to prepare a new item, etc.  Also, their “special items” shelving included processed foods with high fructose corn syrup and refined flours.  Not what I’ve seen at other spots.

Lastly, the Prices.  Overall the prices were fairly comparable to what you would see at your local Dominick’s or Jewel.  Usually at markets I will see things marked a little bit higher, but their selection is different. For what organic produce they had, the prices were very competitive.  You can see what I spent here.  If the mainstream stores had their organic produce marked at these prices, 1) more people would be buying organic and 2) I wouldn’t have to write this blog!

Last Thoughts:

While I did like the price of their organics, the selection overall was so poor that I am not planning on making a special weekly trip there. But if I am already at the mall, I will definitely stop by.