Swarthmore No Longer an Option for Return to Village
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Starting March 3, California Certified Farmers Markets—the company that runs the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market—will open a second Palisades location in The Highlands, and the market currently operating at Palisades Charter High School will not be returning to Swarthmore.
“Before we started construction, many of our neighbors wanted to maintain the location of the farmers market on Swarthmore,” a representative from Caruso explained to the Palisadian-Post Tuesday afternoon. “We were happy to do that, out of respect for our neighbors. However, since opening our project, we’ve heard from our neighbors that they no longer want the farmers market to return to Swarthmore, due to the impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.
“Given this change of heart among our neighbors, and our desire to respect their wishes, we unfortunately cannot support the return of the farmers market to Swarthmore.”
Melissa Farwell, director of coordination and development of California Certified Farmers Markets, which operates more than 20 markets across Southern California, shared that the team is actively trying to figure out a plan to bring the market back to the Village.
“We would really like to move back to the Village,” she explained. “That’s what we had planned all along.”
The original market, which operated for years along Swarthmore Avenue, moved to Pali High to accommodate construction at Palisades Village in 2016. In March 2018—roughly six months before the grand opening of Palisades Village—flyers were handed out at the market, announcing a return to the Village area slated for October 2018.
When the expected return date came and went, community members began to speculate if the market would remain at Pali High—or if it would return to the Village, possibly operating along Antioch Street.
While the team searches for a location that can accommodate vendors and shoppers in the Village, an additional market is set to begin operating at 1515 Palisades Drive on Sunday, March 3, Joe Cirillo, general manager of The Highlands Community Center, confirmed.
Farwell explained that The Highlands location will be a “very small, boutique market.” There will be space for 24 tents—about 16 to 17 vendors—compared to the more than 100 tents at Pali High, which house around 80 vendors each week.
Farwell added that about half the spaces will be farmers and half will offer specialty items, like fish, hummus and bread.
The market will operate on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.—with the Pali High market open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Farwell and Cirillo both confirmed that the market is designed, in large part, to serve residents in The Highlands, not to detract from the Pali High location.