Treasure Hunting – Produce Edition

Most of us have tunnel vision. We go through our day(s) without truely looking up at the world around us. It’s pretty understandable too… we have a lot to get done! We need to focus! Unfortuantely though, I fear that this habit is allowing a lot of great opportunities and treasures to pass us by.One great example of this behavior in my life is that I get used to shopping at the same places and buying services and products at large commercial establishments. For instance, I often shop at the Vons right down the street from my house. Why? Because it’s easy, I can count on it being open and having what I need, I know I can use my credit card, and there’s no extra thinking or awareness required – it’s a one stop think-less shop. While I pride myself on shopping at Trader Joe’s too, they’re also a larger commercial establishment in many ways, and realistically, I often go because it’s right across the street from my work, so I’m still able to stay in tunnel vision. Long story short, I forget to look around for the local treasures that may provide better quality products at more affordable prices than what I’m used to. Most of us wouldn’t opt to go to the farmer’s market instead of the grocery store every once in a while, buy lunch at a mom and pop shop delicatessin instead of Subway, or support smaller local businesses in general – no matter what they may be… but that doesn’t mean that’s how it should be…

This tunnel vision awareness couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was heading in a direction from my house that I don’t usually go and realized I was at a moment of opportunity. “I never drive this way” I thought… “There might be some fun stuff over here!” I thought more excitedly… Low and behold, as I was driving down this “new direction” for the first time since I moved in about 5 months ago, I spotted a local treasure! A mear 3 blocks away from my house at 1515 E. Washington Blvd in Pasadena lies a quaint little Family Produce shop. Score? I think YES!So, the other day as I was getting ready to hit the usual Vons by my house, I stopped, smirked, and thought “I’m going to the Family Produce market first!” Let me just tell you, I am SO HAPPY that I did. This little family owned market has a ton of great produce, and very clearly not from the same source that delivers to Vons (no offense, Vons – you’re still my homie). The produce is fresh, delicious, and I was able to identify that it was grown on a smaller/more local scale because of the size of the produce. For instance, the yams I buy at the grocery store are like 3-4 portions each, which is a good indication that they are pumped up with not-so-natural extras; on the other hand, the yams I bought at the Family Produce market were perfectly 1-2 portions each, which is a good indication that they were grown more naturally (my home gardening experience taught me that things don’t naturally grow as large as we typically buy them). Not only that, but the prices were INCREDIBLE! I bought yams, cucumbers, apples, plums, peaches, and cauliflower for a total of $8.40. That’s a fraction of what I would usually spend.

In the end, I’m happy to report that my recent local treasure hunt turned up my new go-to produce market. Thank you, Family Produce, for being awesome and I’ll see you again soon!

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