Shoppers enjoyed a socially distanced stroll through the Claremont Farmers and Artisan Market, featuring over two dozen vendors on a sunny Easter Sunday.
The Market, open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday on Harvard Avenue in the Claremont Village, is sponsored and organized by the Claremont Forum, a non-profit community organization.
Visitors, masked and appropriately distanced for COVID-19 guidelines, shopped for fresh produce, art and more.
“I wish more parents would bring their kids to the farmers market and allow them to pick out fruits and vegetables,” said Carrie Knoll, Claremont resident and frequent Farmers Market shopper. “I think that would get the children more interested in having healthy food when they pick it out themselves.”
Claremont’s Farmers and Artisans Market was founded in 1996 and features local vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers and seeds, as well handcrafted work including wood art, pottery and paintings.
One of the vendors, Happy Hawk Farms, is a family-operated farm in Riverside County that sells organic produce, such as microgreens, avocados and oranges.
“Everyone that works for the farm lives on the farm because we’re all a family so you’re contributing to a family directly rather than a big corporation,” said Mason Robles of Happy Hawk Farms.
Robles said his family has been selling at Claremont’s Farmers and Artisans Market every Sunday for over five years and has developed loyal customer relationships.
“There’s definitely a large impact on the quality of the food you’re getting when you’re sourcing it from the people that grow it rather than from a store,” said Brandon Mitchell, a Market vendor.
Mitchell sells organic almonds, grown on a family farm in Bakersfield, every week at the Farmers market.
Ahmed Hussein, employee of Mom’s Specialty Food, said his customer satisfaction and return is more important to him than having a one-time sale. Mom’s Specialty Food offers authentic Mediterranean appetizers including various flavors of hummus, garlic spread and pita bread.
Matthew Nugraha, Ontario resident, said he frequents the Market to buy strawberries and flowers, and sometimes takes a look at the spices and books.
“I just like the environment around here. It feels carefree, the trees are nice and it’s colorful here so that’s what I like about it,” Nugraha said.
Leo Lopez of Ontario said he visits the market every Sunday with his aunt and cousins.
While the Claremont Market had to close temporarily last spring at the start of the pandemic, it was subsequently deemed an essential business and was reopened. It has since thrived with farmer’s markets across the state and nation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – as people concerned with health have been drawn to farm-fresh produce and healthy outdoor shopping environments.
The Market features about eight artists selling clothing, photography work, organic soaps, jewelry and more.
Pamela Fall, of Pamela J Photography, is an artist and photographer who hand watercolor paints over her own film photographs of Italy scenery for a three-dimensional effect.
“I’m a small business owner and it makes me feel good that someone likes my work enough that they would have it in their home,” Fall said.
Fall has been selling her art at Claremont’s Farmers and Artisans Market every other Sunday for 17 years, commuting from Orange County.
“I love the setting here and the people I work with,” Fall said. “I love the environment with all the trees. It feels like a park to me and I love that feeling.”
The Prison Library Project, sponsored by the Claremont Forum, also has a tent at the Market, selling books and merchandise to raise funds to send books to prison inmates.
For more information, visit the Claremont Farmers and Artisans Market online.
Anabel Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.