November 8, 2021
(TORRANCE, CA) — Residents from all over LA County huddled around booths on Sept. 25 for fresh produce, pumpkins, and popcorn as the Torrance Certified Farmers Market welcomed guests back to Charles H. Wilson Park in the midst of a global health crisis.
Face masks and hand-sanitizer stations dotted the event as guests rushed to their favorite booths to see what new items were available.
First-time vendor Sophia Guzman wore a facemask and made sure to keep her distance from prospective buyers as they checked out her stand.
“I feel pretty safe out here,” Guzman said as she advertised her acai bowls and candied nuts.
Guzman doesn’t live in the city of Torrance, but she decided to sell her merchandise at the market due to the sunny weather that day.
The Torrance Certified Farmers Market reopened March 21, 2020, as a way to help residents buy groceries after a short closure as the city tried to contain the COVID-19 virus, according to the Daily Breeze.
Ever since its reopening, the market has maintained strict health guidelines to keep its vendors and customers safe against the highly contagious virus.
Booths were socially distanced from each other and customers were encouraged to wear masks and keep a safe distance from others while shopping.
Cassandra Holmstrom, another vendor, decided not to wear a mask as she persuaded customers to check out her Mediterranean vegan foods.
“I love plant-based food,” Holmstrom said. “I think it’s great for everyone’s bodies; it nourishes and strengthens us.”
She was employed by Vegan Stops, a restaurant based in Orange County that specializes in vegan entrées.
“I love everything this company is about,” Holmstrom said. “All of our food that we don’t sell we donate to a foundation that feeds the homeless.” The small business donates its unused food to N.O.A.H. Foundation Inc.
Like Guzman, Holmstrom isn’t a Torrance native. She said that she has sold products here four times previously and keeps coming back due to the friendly consumers.
The market has been in business for the past 36 years and has attracted hundreds of vendors, according to the Daily Breeze. However, the number of vendors has been drastically cut due to the ongoing pandemic, according to the Daily Breeze
The Torrance Certified Farmers Market is a bi-weekly event held on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. PST.