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Today Inside The Grand Opening of The Market at SMP

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Elizabeth Daniels 5/11

Et voila, the grand reveal of The Market which opened this morning at 10AM on the third level Dining Deck of Santa Monica Place! Foodies, westside residents, and curious consumers alike packed the breezy, open market for tastes from Rockewagner Bakery, N'Ice Cream, Groundwork Coffee, Beachy Cream, The Curious Palate, The Cookie Guru, Primi Al Mercato, Norcino Salumeria Cheese Bar, L'Artisan du Chocolate, Venokado, and The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories (which is actually offering a Daily Candy deal today for 53% off baking classes). Non-edible retailers include Magical Blooms, a flower shop, and Benedetta Fresh Aromatherapeutics, an organic skincare company. It's crazy, there's been buzz on this opening since back in December of 2009 when word officially broke, now here we are a year and a half later and The Market is finally up and running.

As mentioned yesterday, there are still a few vacant stalls available for additional purveyors, but here's a cut from the venue's official press release on specifics for what's in place now:

Beachy Cream
Well-known from appearances at farmers markets and the streets of Malibu, Beachy Cream brings its retro-chic, organic ice-cream sandwiches to The Market. Made in small batches with locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients, these all-natural delights come in several inspired flavors including Key Lime Cowabunga, Strawberry Surfer Girl and Ginger Wipe Out.

Benedetta, founded in 1996, is a fully botanical, farm-sourced, skin care company. Each holistic formula is made in small batches focusing on certified organic and biodynamic ingredients, many California grown. The vibrancy of fresh, alive ingredients allows the skin to recognize and absorb nutrients, much like the same bioavailability of organic foods, making Benedetta preparations truly Food For Your Skin. Benedetta is not a band-aid approach to skin health and rejuvenation, but a holistic one. As a result, the effects are corrective and continued.

Groundwork Coffee Company
The Market will be home to the latest outpost of Groundwork Coffee Company, which already serves coffee and tea devotees from locations in Downtown, Hollywood, Venice and Santa Monica. Founded by Richard Karno in 1990, this unique coffee company is sustainable and sources and roasts 100% organic, fairly traded coffee. Groundwork offers custom blends including Banda Geisha, Black Gold, Bitches Brew and Angel City. The products are Kosher, as well.

L’Artisan du Chocolat
Artisan, gourmet chocolates – hand-made by the company’s French chocolatier – star in L’Artisan du Chocolat’s new location at The Market. Always made fresh in Los Angeles, these chocolates use natural ingredients only with no preservatives.

Magical Blooms
Local floral designer and entrepreneur, Jenny Barker, opens a second location of her popular Redondo Beach, Calif.-flower shop, Magical Blooms. The store features one-of-a-kind arrangements, floral design classes and more. Jenny’s work has been featured on HGTV and in numerous television shows, magazines and newspapers.

Primi Al Mercato
From acclaimed Santa Monica-based restaurateur Piero Selvaggio, Primi Al Mercato will feature both a retail side – Laboratory di Pasta – as well as a casual trattoria highlighting unusual and creative pastas served in small plates with fresh sauces made from Farmers Market ingredients. An exciting visual aspect will be an on-site pasta maker.

The second location for this hip and eclectic wine shop owned by Susan Brink, Molly Brink and Tracy Hof in West Hollywood marries intriguing vintages with hard-to-find, beautifully packaged gifts. The store’s locally famous “clutch gifts” artfully pair bottles with color-coordinated gift items – from rare art books and witty housewares to organic baby toys. A tasting room adds to the experiential flavor of this concept at The Market at Santa Monica Place.

N’Ice Cream
Freshly made every morning, more than 85 flavors of organic, free-trade gelato and sorbet from N’Ice Cream are rare treats. Expanding from its sole location down the beach in Venice, N’Ice Cream tempts with flavors both familiar – like banana, caramel and strawberry – and unusual, like elderflower.

Röckenwagner Bakery
The latest location of this local favorite from longtime Los Angeles chef/restaurateur Hans Röckenwagner features handcrafted and artisanal baked goods – from scones and pastries to breads and pretzels. Locals love ginger scones, blueberry bran muffins, plum streusel and “pretzel” baguettes. An exciting first is a watch-it-bake soufflé bar, offering an array of main course and dessert soufflés.

The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories
A favorite local baking expert, French native Clemence Gossett of Gourmandise Desserts, and her partner Hadley Hughes open a sweet and savory cooking school at Santa Monica Place with two teaching kitchens and state-of-the-art equipment. On the menu: three- and four-hour classes, chef demonstrations, special events, cookbook signings and community partnerships.

The Curious Palate
Owned by Elliot Rubin and Mark Cannon, The Curious Palate is a market, kitchen and cafe specializing in artisan foods and farm-to-table service. In its market shoppers find hand-picked culinary items from around the world, including artisan olive oils, vinegars, pastas, grains and legumes, local ciders and chocolates.
·The Market at Santa Monica Place [~ELA~]

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