With the novel coronavirus pandemic in full swing, every level of the food industry has been strained to the max, from wholesale suppliers of meat and produce to restaurants, coffee shops, and bars struggling to stay in business. Some restaurants have closed temporarily or even permanently. In addition to expanding meat and pantry offerings, some restaurants and coffee shops have also partnered with local farmers, selling bulk produce boxes to keep farmers in business, prevent food waste, and supply Angelenos with fresh fruits and vegetables. By offering less crowded, geographically spread out locations to shop, these places are also making it easier for people to minimize social proximity and contact.
On March 31, mayor Eric Garcetti suspended all farmers markets within the city of Los Angeles, making it harder than ever for local farms to stay afloat as opportunities to sell small-scale produce dwindle. Some will reopen under new social distancing plans. Now more than ever, the Southern California farmers that supply many of the city’s high-profile restaurants need support. If low on fruit and vegetables, consider supporting LA restaurants and local farmers by buying produce from these restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Here are three notable local farms that are the main suppliers of the produce for these boxes:
- County Line Harvest: Located in the Coachella Valley, this specialty produce farm sells 80 percent of its crop to distributors that supply local restaurants like Gjelina, Felix, and Rockenwagner, and more
- Thao Family Farm: Thao Family Farm, a Laotian-owned operation in Fresno, supplies Asian vegetables like boy choy and daikon radish, as well as a larger variety of fresh produce to restaurants like Republique, Rustic Canyon, and Night + Market.
- Coleman Family Farms: This small Santa Barbara grower is a popular fixture at the Santa Monica farmers market, which is currently not under the city of LA ban.
Note: To ensure availability, please call, email, or check delivery apps ahead, as businesses may run out of boxes due to pre-orders. Check Instagram or call ahead to confirm for dates of produce delivery.
In support of County Line Harvest, this small Westside bakery and cafe is offering small ($37.50, feeding 2-3 people) and large ($58, feeding 4-6 people) sizes of produce boxes with loaves of their freshly baked breads daily. Pre-orders are available through Rockenwagner’s website.
Sourcing produce from two different farms, Culver City Platform’s Roberta’s Pizza is selling $50 Thao Family Farm boxes of produce including Thai shallots, bok choy, and yams for Saturday pickup 2 to 5 p.m. and County Line boxes on Friday afternoons ordered via their website. For Saturday boxes, email email@example.com to reserve for pick-up or order through www.platformdrivethrough.com.
To keep up with the changing needs of its customers, chefs and owners Walter and Margarita Manzke have started selling $35 produce boxes from Thao Farms, featuring greens like bok choy and kale, as well as fennel, Swiss chard, and Japanese yams. Call the restaurant to pre-order or receive a delivery through Grubhub or Postmates.
Animal / Jon & Vinny’s
Sourcing produce from Coleman Family Farm and other vendors, the duo behind Jon & Vinny’s, Animal, Son of a Gun, and others have started selling $45 produce boxes, available for order online through the link above, as well as fruit boxes and other pantry goods. Pick-up is available at Animal on Fairfax.
Los Feliz neighborhood spot All Time is selling $25 market fruit boxes and $62 mixed produce boxes daily, sourcing from places like Arnett, Kong Thao, JF, and Tamai Farms. Recent boxes include carrots, celery, rainbow chard, and curly kale. Pick-up and delivery available via ChowNow.
Highly Likely Cafe
For those near West Adams, buy fresh County Line Harvest produce directly from Highly Likely’s website and pick up on Fridays 2 to 5 p.m. from this third wave coffee shop, as well as other places throughout the city (see website schedule).
In support of Thao Family Farm, Kismet is offering $45 boxes of mixed produce from the farm daily, as well as selling some vegetables a la carte. Order online through their website under the “Goods” tab or call 323-404-0909 at least an hour ahead to order.
Highland Park Brewery
This Eastside brewery is also acting as a conduit for Thao Family Farm, selling $40 of mixed produce daily through pre-order at their new delivery and pick-up website, assuming they haven’t run out yet. No walk-up orders.
Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe
This popular Westside brunch spot owned by the Rustic Canyon restaurant group has started selling $30 mixed market boxes daily, sourcing dried goods from Koda Farms, County Line produce, and more. Specific contents change weekly. Call 310-451-2311 at least two days in advance from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to reserve a box.
The Spago Market Box is priced at $55 and is available to order through Tock. The contents of each box include a mix of greens, herbs, and vegetables grown by local farmers and will vary by day.