The Original Farmers Market paid tribute to former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge today, unveiling a special table memorializing his service and leadership to the city.
Hank Hilty, A.F. Gilmore Company President and longtime friend of LaBonge, welcomed a small gathering of family and friends to the dedication of the table this morning on the East Patio of the Farmers Market. Angie Chang, owner of China Depot and Bryan’s Barbecue Pit, joined Hilty in celebrating LaBonge’s dedication to the market. Chang said Tom could often be found having lunch and sharing the history of the market with fellow patrons. She said she always thinks of Tom when she serves Orange Chicken because it was his favorite.
Speaking on behalf of her family, Brigid LaBonge said, “Tom would have loved this,” referring to the location of the table on the Market’s East Patio. “Ice cream, donuts and barbecue were made for Tom!”
Ilysha Buss, Director of Marketing for the Original Farmers Market, told the Buzz the unveiling was timed to coincide with the Gilmore Historic Auto Show show, opening this weekend.
“It just felt right to do this around the car show since it was one of Tom’s favorite events,” said Buss. “Tom was a booster, a cheerleader, a friend and a customer who really supported the small businesses at the market.”
The plaque on the table reads:
“Tom LaBonge 1953-2021
Los Angeles City Councilman, District 4, 2001-20015
Tom LaBonge a.k.a. Mr. Los Angeles was the beloved city councilman for the Original Farmers Market from 2001 to 2015. Serving the city in many capacities for nearly 40 years, he was a champion of all things community. He gave his all whether guiding a city Council initiative or leading a neighborhood cleanup.
Tom loved the Farmers Market and had a deep appreciation for its history and the small business owners who are its backbone. It was common to see him on the Market’s East Patio enjoying a plate of Bryan’s Barbecue while chatting with fellow customers. The city of Los Angeles will forever be a better place to work and live because of his efforts and boundless energy.”