Historic Opening of The Original Farmers Market at LAX

  • (Client: The Original Farmers Market)

    Eighty years after setting up at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street, The Original Farmers Market has opened its first outside location.

    Travelers passing through the Delta terminal at LAX can visit a scaled-down version of the market, an echo of the original in a modern space.

    “It’s just like the farmers market, just on a smaller scale,” said Lynn Hang, a manager at the LAX location. “It kind of takes them out of that vibe of felling like they’re at the airport.”

    At 5 a.m., flights already are touching down and passengers unloading in the Delta terminal, Hang said, and lines form before The Original Farmers Market opens at 5:30.

    From more than 100 vendors at the original location, nine have been chosen for the new space so far. The airport branch has been operating for almost a month and has an invitation-only grand opening Thursday.

    The entrance is eye-catching with a three-dimensional copy of The Original Farmers Market clock tower on one wall. Inside, vendors sell Mexican fare, wine and cheese, pastries and even baked dog treats. Tables fill a common area, and market-like stands hold fruit and bouquets of flowers.

    Morgan Wright and her mother, Kate Handley, were passing through LAX on their way home to Davis from the East Coast when they stopped in.

    “We have a farmers market in Davis that’s sort of famous,” Wright said, “so it kind of drew us in.” She and Handley were at Bennett’s Ice Cream at the Farmers Market at LAX.

    Wright said she hadn’t heard of the farmers market on 3rd Street, so stumbling on the LAX location was “serendipity.”

    “The airport seemed very frenzied and hectic, so this seemed like a little bit quieter oasis,” she said after finishing her coffee ice cream.

    Delaware North Cos., which operates concessions at Yosemite National Park and other airports, partnered with the A.F. Gilmore Co., which owns The Original Farmers Market, for the concept at LAX.

    Several times, other companies had asked A.F. Gilmore Co. to team up to open a new farmers market location. But it was never the right fit, said A.F. Gilmore Co. marketing director Ilysha Buss.

    With Delaware North, “We were 100 percent confident that the Farmers Market brand would be produced to our standards, our 80-year-old standards,” she said.

    “Some people consider (airport travelers) a captive audience,” said Rodolfo Ornelas, operations manager for Delaware North and general manager for the Farmers Market at LAX. “We don’t necessarily look at it that way. We still want to produce high-quality products.”

    Jimmy Shaw left his career in advertising to open ¡Loteria! Grill at the farmers market in 2002. He has expanded to eight restaurants in Los Angeles, including two at LAX.

    To view the artical as it appeared on the Los Angeles Rigister follow the link: http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/market-600830-farmers-lax.html?page=1

    After a soft opening a few weeks ago, they’re already struggling to keep up with the demand for potted Magee’s nuts at the Farmers Market at LAX Terminal 5, which held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony June 12 as part of the continuing development of L.A.’s love-it-or-hate-it airport.

    A microcosm of the famous “original” market at Fairfax and Third, this satellite space looks just like it, right down to the inclusion of some of the famous Farmers Market green wooden carts and shopping bags – it even has a mini 3-D-esque version of the white clock tower on the wall outside (ripe for photo ops).

    Inside, the prime spot has gone to Jimmy Shaw’s Lotería Grill – a resident at the Original Farmers Market since 2002 – whose colorful red décor, loteria card posters and yellow stools definitely beckon you toward the bar at the rear. They debuted new loteria cards – El Farmers Market and El LAX – on the opening-day menu, but either way you can pre-flight by sipping a margarita and watching your burrito or tostada come to life in the glass-fronted kitchen.

    To the left of Lotería Grill   – and with a wall of wines – is French favorite Monsieur Marcel, which has been at the Original since 1993 with cheeses, meats, wines and crêpes. Here it will have deli sandwiches for hungry travelers as well.

    On either side of the entrance to this retro mini-mart is Coffee Corner, with delay-busting cups of java, and the T&Y bakery for a pastry or two.

    Staying true to the “farmers” element, there are several green wooden stands of fresh flowers and fruit to pick from. Also at the front is the to-go element, with staple airport essentials: bottles of water, chips, wraps, sandwiches, salads and soft drinks. Bennett’s ice cream also has a rather hidden cooler, which is worth finding, because it’s full of chocolate, nut-sprinkled cone and banana ice creams.

    There are plenty of last-minute gifts geared to travelers,  most of which are easily browsed from the cleverly placed wooden carousel structures, which showcase gift-size treats from other Original Farmers Market vendors such as the Dog Bakery, spice experts Dragünara, the candy and popcorn delights of the Magic Nut & Candy Co. and Magee’s, whose quaint labels and pots of peanut butter and nut spreads are “very California.”

    On top of these triangular displays are some nifty tablet-size video screens, which run short, glossy videos about the companies behind the munchables, and also have an interesting image-heavy, documentary-esque section on the 80-year history of the Original Farmers Market itself.
    There are old black-and-white pictures on the walls, too – including a famous one of Marilyn Monroe cutting a cake – and a video wall facing the terminal passageway shows video footage of times past.

    Terminal 5 is only for passengers flying Delta, but if you’re looking for something that’s L.A. but not L.A., this is a far better bet than impulse-buying a pink “Hollywood” sweatshirt and regretting it all the way home.

    To view the article as it appeared in laweekly.com follow this link : http://www.laweekly.com/squidink/2014/06/17/meet-you-at-5-and-lax-farmers-market-now-open-at-terminal-5