Rick’s Produce is the first new farmer to come into the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in 30 years. And owner/farmer Rick Dominguez opened in the middle of the pandemic! Though plans to open were underway before the pandemic, in fact before his son, who is now almost three, was born, Dominguez decided to go ahead once the space was finished despite the pandemic. He’s still waiting for the crush of customers, but he’s not complaining.
“It’s wonderful being part of the Original Farmers Market, the people are very friendly, we get customers who come from all over the world, though I’m really pleased that almost half of our customers come from the neighborhood,” Dominguez told the Buzz. “Also, we are servicing several of the market’s restaurants, Monsieur Marcel, Market Tavern and El Granjero Cantina, in addition to those we had in the neighborhood like Jon and Vinny’s, Animal, and Son of a Gun. It’s been really good for us and really good for them to have a farmers market close by that is available seven days a week.”
Operating a storefront is a new experience for Dominguez. He’s used to running a farm and operating out of local farmers markets — he’s in the Silver Lake Farmers Market on Saturdays and Hollywood Farmers Market on Sundays. He started his own operating in 2014 and the store features items from his farm in Fallbrook as well as from other local farmers who share his farming practices.
“I’m very particular of what we sell,” explained Dominguez. “We have to be ok with feeding it to our family.”
In addition to fresh produce, Dominguez also serves food. You can order avocado toast, fruit or salad bowls, jam toast with his seasonal jams, and seasonal smoothies made with just fresh fruit and juice, no powders, no syrups. This week, he’s getting fresh salsas and guacamole specials ready for the Super Bowl and chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day.
Everything is made in-house from local farms so it’s super fresh, explained Dominguez. His small team of 18 employees also includes his wife who does his accounting, when she’s not working at her full-time accounting job.
Dominguez works long days but he loves it. He’s thrilled to be the first farmer back in the market in decades and is honored to showcase other farmers.