Among the steamy stalls of Grand Central Market's many eateries stands a fresh and vibrant newcomer, the District Market. Below the neon sign bearing the new vendor's name lie boxes of brightly colored apples, vibrant leafy greens, and fridges filled with trendy organic drinks.

Photo by Natalie Raphael
Photo by Natalie Raphael

In a slew of openings at Los Angeles' iconic Grand Central Market, the District Market opened on March 8 to offer market patrons high quality produce and dry goods with an emphasis on organic and locally sourced products. According to Michael Dodo, co-owner of District Market, the addition of this organic shop in response to an increase in demand for organic and farm fresh produce.

"People can count on District Market to be their source for what's best from local farms at any time," said co-owner Fritz Stelter in a press release.

In addition to carrying produce from reputable local farms such as Tutti Frutti Farms in Lompoc and Babe Farms in Santa Maria, Stelter said that the stall will host farmers to talk about their products and share recipes as well as explanations of vegetables and fruits currently in season.

To contrast organic mega stores like Whole Foods, manager Jimmy Clark explained that the District Market attempts to create a connection with each customer that is much more difficult to achieve at chain grocers.

"Whole Foods is the Disneyland of organic stuff, big and beautiful. I want to make something small and beautiful" said Clark.

In its continuous operation beginning in 1917, Grand Central Market has undergone bouts of renovation and reformation but have always kept their mission, "From food, community," at the center of the customer and vendor experience. District Market's commitment to cultivating connections between customers and fellow vendors alike is a continuation of Grand Central's gastronomic and community legacy.

Photo by Emiko Myers.
Photo by Emiko Myers.

Keeping Grand Central's diverse clientele and history of fostering community borne from food, District Market has introduced the concept of high quality ingredients and products at affordable prices. This diversity is also represented in the variety of vegetables and fruits they carry, ranging from the basics such as potatoes and celery to plantains, featured heavily in Latin cuisine, and bok choy, popular in many Asian dishes.

While the produce section displays a plentiful selection of fruits and vegetables, about one third of which are organic, the dry goods section of District Market is finishing up construction. Manager Jimmy Clark expects that it should be stocked in about a week at which point District Market will celebrate with a grand opening.

District Market is open from 8 AM to 6PM Sunday through Wednesday from 8 AM to 9 PM on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 817 S Broadway, Los Angeles. For more information visit http://www.grandcentralmarket.com/vendors/542/district-market.

Reach Staff Reporter Emiko Myers here.