All of our markets are Farmer Mark approved!

This means we run our markets with a “Farmer First” philosophy, striving to cultivate the best conditions for small farmers to sell the freshest and most nutritious produce direct to the community. This also means our markets are California Certified.

What is a Certified Farmers’ Market?

California Certified Farmers’ Markets are the “real thing,” places where the farmers sell their crops directly to the public. Before a farmer can sell at a Certified Farmers’ Market, their local Agricultural Department agency checks to make sure that the farmers grows the produce the farmer is selling. Only California grown produce is allowed in the Certified section of a farmers’ market!

Our mission comes from personal experience.

Having witnessed the slow and steady decline of his father’s health on a poor diet, Farmer Mark cultivated his passion for promoting the importance of fruits and vegetables on our plates. Farmer Mark started the Sprouts of Promise Foundation in 2009 as a 501(c)(3).

The Sprouts of Promise mission is to give children and their families access to locally grown produce, while educating them on the the importance of healthy eating habits and the benefits of buying local.

 
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Who is Farmer Mark?

Fueled by a knowledge of the power of real food, a passion for healthy living and a background as a tomato farmer, Mark is dedicated to improving the well-being of all of them. He does so through his six certified farmers’ markets and the non-profit organization Sprouts of Promise.

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As Mark explains, "Our vision is to create the best market experience for both farmers and the community."

Mark serves on the Board of the State of California Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee, which advises the Secretary of Agriculture, and has given a TEDx talk on how he “fell in love with a tomato.”


HISTORY | Finance to Farmer, Farmer to Vendor

After a masters degree in finance and a career in investment banking, Farmer Mark stumbled upon a career in agriculture when his dot.com aspirations burst with the bubble in 2001. 

Instead, Mark found himself in the business of tomatoes. He spent the next six years running a small tomato farm in Ventura County using organic, hydroponic and conventional growing methods. 

An abundance of crops lead to selling in the local farmers' markets. Seeing a glaring need for a better run market, Mark decided to create his own. He now runs five certified farmers' markets in southern California.

MISSION | Farm to Market, Market to Community

Farmer Mark believes it takes a community to create a healthy lifestyle. His non-profit organization, Sprouts of Promise, teaches elementary students and their families about healthy eating and responsible farming practices. 

Farmer Mark's vision for his markets is to uphold the highest integrity, keep the best interest of the farmer and community in mind, educate consumers and actively promote the benefits of locally sourced produce. 

With this “Farmer First” philosophy, Mark strives to cultivate the best conditions for small farmers to sell the freshest and most nutritious produce direct to the community.

We believe that knowing your farmer means knowing your food. We also want you to know the people who help produce each market week after week!
Here are the people you’ll see at our markets and the individuals who you may interact with over the web!

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Emil DeRosa | Operations Manager
An East Coast native, Emil brings organization and logistics to the Farmer Mark team. He designs the layout for each market, on-boards vendors, and keeps the markets running smoothly. In his spare-time he is either out exploring the newest veggie taco or working on his climbing skills.

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Aubrey Yarborough | Community Development Manager
Aubrey has worked in international humanitarian development and for many years ran her own organic farm. As Community Development Manager she combines her passions for local food and community building!

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Stevie Eggert | Market Manager for Hermosa Beach + Westwood Village + Playa Vista
Stevie has followed his passion for sustainable food systems from UCLA to Australia, New Zealand and beyond. He was a cook in New Zealand and a baker in Arizona, before returning to his native California. When he’s not managing farmers’ markets, you can find Stevie working in his garden or brewing jun kombucha.

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Martha Hall | Market Manger + Lead KidZone coordinator for Playa Vista
Martha is educator with Food Forward where she teaches 5th graders about preventing food waste. During the summer months she runs a cooking camp for kids, and year-round she documents her home gardening adventures on Instagram @letsgetgrowing, follow along!

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Mary Robertson | Market Manager for SoCo + Newport Beach
A yogi and foodie, Mary has owned and operated her own food business, Made Veg by Mary, which specialized in Vegan sweets & treats during her time on the East Coast. When she’s not at the Market, she’s out walking with her pug named Boo.

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Brianna Grothe | Market Manager for Westwood Village + Playa Vista

Brianna is passionate about raising chickens, growing veggies, and working towards sustainable food systems. For the past few years she focused her time working in the non-profit sector helping homeless children and inner city youth gain access to a better education. She brings management skills, knowledge of sustainability, and passion for fresh food to her role as a Market Manager. 

Seasonal Interns: If you are interested in building your resume, email us to inquire about current opportunities.
Volunteer: It takes more time and effort to host a farmers’ market than you might think! Lend a hand during set-up, event planning/execution, documentation, or another task that compliments your interests! Email us to learn how you can get involved!