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Spotlight on Public Places | Community News Focus

Corona del Mar Farmers Market

May 28, 1997|HOPE HAMASHIGE

No doubt the quality of the produce, picked fresh that morning, is part of what attracts people to the Corona del Mar farmers market each Saturday.

The mouth-watering scent of strawberries on a recent morning, for example, could be detected yards away, and the prices were comparable to those in grocery stores.

But just as big a part of the market's appeal is that it offers a community activity in this Newport Beach neighborhood--one that draws people out of their homes with dogs and children in tow to chat with friends while shopping.

"It really is a fun place to go," said Karen Talbott, a Corona del Mar resident. "And you do see everyone."

Officials say Talbott was the driving force that brought the market to Corona del Mar just more than a year ago. She had been to the market in San Clemente, where her mother lives, and thought it would be nice to have one in Corona del Mar too.

"I thought: 'We're supposed to be a with-it community,' " she recalled. " 'Why don't we have something like that?' "

She started lobbying City Hall to bring a farmers market to Corona del Mar.

Market manager Rick Heil said the vast majority of patrons are Newport Beach residents, who bike, walk or even skate to a municipal parking lot in the center of town every Saturday morning to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.

"Corona del Mar becomes a real walking community on the weekends," Heil said. "And the market is really a popular place to stop."

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