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Meet Lora Davis of Wellington Square Farmers Market in West Adams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lora Davis.

Lora, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After my last child went away to college, I was in need of a project. So, my friend Kathy Lewis and I founded the Wellington Square Farmers Market in my neighborhood. I have always loved farmers markets and would drive all over town to get to one because none were in my neighborhood. So that was my goal, to bring locally grown, farm fresh produce close to home. My community needed a meeting place, so we could see and meet each other and learn about one another and to see if there were other folks like me, that appreciated good produce.

Has it been a smooth road?
Our first hurdle was my lovely, historic, neighborhood that we wanted to bring the farmers market too. Some of my neighbors were worried about increased traffic, parking and even broccoli being dropped on their lawn. Most of the neighbors were excited so we got past that. Then there was finding a location and acquiring the funding to get started. We got our local church to let us use their parking lot to hold the farmers market and they also became our first fiscal sponsor so we could apply for grants from local organizations. We knew nothing about the certification process and the health department requirements. The use of a book from the library helped us figure those things out. Our grand opening was a big success, but it was difficult to keep the farmers happy with a dwindling turn out. Some farmers left, but some stayed and have been with us since the beginning, over 7 years ago. We now have hot food, packaged foods, bakery items, eggs, honey and weekly music concerts along with our fresh produce.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our certified farmers market is in a demographically diverse neighborhood and we have been able to service all our shoppers. We offer a dollar to dollar match as a financial incentive to low income and those receiving Social Security benefits. We have a great assortment of the basic fruits and vegetables certified organic and conventionally grown to those foodies I knew were here.

Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so –who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help.
We have had so many advocates over the years, the biggest being the Smyrna Seventh Day Adventist Church’s secretary, Marva Berry. She has been supportive since the beginning by helping to coordinate on-site storage, and coordinating market helpers over the years. My previous co-manager and co-founder, Kathy Lewis, worked tirelessly to make this market happen, and it’s not even in her neighborhood. Local Neighborhood Councils and Los Angeles City Council have helped to sustain the free concerts and provided publicity to the community. Our local newsletter has provided often times free advertising as well as local business support both financially and by getting the word out. Most of the credit goes to the hard-working farmers and vendors that grow, transport and provide our market with their best.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 4394 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016
  • Website: wellingtonsquarefarmersmarket.com
  • Phone: 323-373-0961
  • Email: wellingtonsquarefarmersmarket@gmail.com
  • Facebook: @wellingtonsquarefarmersmarket
  • Twitter: @wsfarmersmarket

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

 

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