Those of you that know me, and know me well, know VERY WELL that I absolutely HATE going to the grocery store.
The crowds, the lines, the rude peeps, yada, yada, yada, you know the drill. It’s absolute torture and anxiety provoking for me, but luckily I have a bold and brave partner in crime that executes these types of chores for our household. I never told him I could cook, lol!
There is ONLY ONE marketplace I can go to in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, and that store is: VERBENA MARKETPLACE.
A labor of love for co-owners, Eric Ballin and Jose Guadalupe Armenta, they knew the neighborhood needed some brick-and-mortar comfort and joy in the last year plus of the pandemic. And cough, cough, nudge, nudge, it’s no surprise that the coveted maretplace is in the Mecca of the Media Capital of the World, straddling the cusp of Culver City and it’s mere ‘5 inches’ in Mar Vista as per Eric’s measurements.
‘We noticed that being healthy in LA meant being overcharged for good, wholesome food,’ says owner Eric. VERBANA MARKETPLACE has affordable prices with healthy food options that are all sourced in LA and Ventura counties.
Not only is it, like everything in LA, 20 minutes away per Cher’s Dad in Clueless, it is quaint, artistic, creative venue packed with all the local ingredients and suppliers that you’d love to support. The big box grocers are played out, so let’s get with the program and BUY LOCAL.
Verbena Marketplace opened it’s doors on January 5th, 2020, and owners Eric and Jose were so glad they did. With the artsy flair of the Coachella Valley and the precise centering roots of Santa Monica, these two native Californians are in it to win it through your generosity and support.
‘It also just so happens that we opened on the onset of the pandemic,’ said Eric. It was great timing as it opened just in time to serve the mandated ordered community. They offer a safe place and refuge for those community members looking to convene and indulge in a nourishing and healthy way. Because who wants to stay home alone like a hermit? No me anymore, ha!
Jose is a native California from the Coachella Valley, and his artistic brilliance is reflected in their gallery inside. ‘Human nature always wants to give us something to hold onto,’ he notes. ‘Replacing resentment with namaste is our motto,’ says Jose.
A bit shaken from the pandemic too, this zen-like, creative location holds a spectacular array of goodies to pamper yourself and your family, while helping you heal from the inside out. It carries nourishing, affordable products that help us all spark that creative flare you were looking for, through supporting and respecting our local bakers, makers, and distanced communities. They even have beautiful, lush green plants for you to buy and brighten up your home.
Food and Trinket Shopping: Basque in the glory of artesenal products like, pastries, local produce boxes for delivery, hummus, clothes, handmade artisinal gifts, teas, balmalles, teas, honey, drinks, spices, oatmeal, chips, snacks, croutons, the infamous barbari bread from Kouzeh Bakery, crystals, sage, tapestries, plants, and much much more. They have sweet blueberry drinks, that are all mostly inclusive with vegan, gluten free, vegetarian friendly options.
LA’s Smallest Art Gallery: is open all week from 9am-6pm, get in there while it’s hot. This is LA’s tiniest art gallery that showcases a pop up and proves to us that the smallest of nooks and crannies can be a prism of our creative, free spirits. This is one of a kind art that you won’t find anywhere else. The more recent collection is Jose’s creations that range from colorful to edgy. If you’d like to showcase your art, contact them on the information below.
The Intentional Healthy Happy Hour: This $6 sip + bite package includes either a Minicake // Minitart // Minibread with the fortunate drink pairing of either homemade rich flavorful almond milk or hibiscus tea that can all be sweetened with rich honey or maple syrup.
THAT’S WHAT I LIKE
Here are 10 things you can buy at Verbena Marketplace that you need right now:
- ARTISANAL BREAD, that is baked locally by LA natives that have pride in their yeast and products.
- HOMEMADE HUMMUS, that is so scrumptious and comes in many flavors to have at your next funky soiree.
- HOMEMADE TORTILLA CHIPS, ever wonder how to get those restaurant ready chips? They are ready to go for purchase at Verbena Marketplace.
- MINICAKES, these are the MOST popular item on the menu and on Wednesdays you can get a minicake and a homemade almond milk for $6 (say what? oh yes, yes they did).
- HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK, never have I ever tasted almond milk quite like this. If you are dairy free you are probably buying almond milk in store. If you buy it at Verbena Marketplace, you’ll never buy it at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Ralph’s ever again, it’s delicious.
- CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD, take a bite and feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven, then end up in Venice which is a good second best.
- LOCAL ARTWORK, also home to LA’S SMALLEST ART GALLERY, the Verbena Marketplace literally converted a closet space into a creative gallery space that showcases local artists work for sale. Artists change monthly, and most pieces are one and only, and valuable for our community of artists. In a small closed off closet, the old dusty doors were ripped opened, painted, and creatively painted with a current showing of Jose’s art that mirrors a juxtaposition of juvenile art that pops with bright color and edgy madness. His sense opened and decorated it with original art.
- OFFICE + PARTY CATERING, any custom cakes, sandwiches, and more are all available for your next event. Why cook? Call Verbena Marketplace!
- TRINKETS + CHACHKIES, this is the perfect place to come invest in a birthday basket for your bestie! They have options for kids and adults alike.
- CASUAL COMFORT CLOTHES, let’s face it, we are all working from home and loving that arm chair you invested in pre-pandemic that now looks old and torn. Buy some cute new pieces for your wardrobe and make that old chair look even better than before on your next Zoom call.
Verbana Marketplace is really your Farmer’s Market at your fingertips, and the cherry on top is that as they accept phone in orders and deliveries.
THE PLACE: Verbena Marketplace (pronounced, VER – BEAN – A)
ADDRESS: 12460 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles. CA 90066
PARKING: Street parking and lot parking available. Free street parking can be found on Chase Street locally, off of West Washington Boulevard. It’s literally less than 100 steps away, so you can get your daily steps in and whip your whip (your car that is).
STORE HOURS: SUN, MON – 9am-4pm, TUE-SAT – 9am-6pm
THE FINAL CUT
As our star Angeleno, Barbara Streisand, says, people, people who need people. We all need each other and Verbena Marketplace is the right bridge to honor our local roots.
With some sunny tables to sit and work with wifi, you can take care of yourself and live a better day at Verbena Marketplace.
Come join the fun! What are you waiting for – get on that bicycle and get here!
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