Market is just the right fit

Whether it's called small or cozy, the farmer's market held Saturdays at Peter's Landing is cherished by the people who participate.

It's not just the petting zoo and the pony rides that make the event in Sunset Beach more unique than the typical farmers' market, according to volunteer coordinator and vendor Chris MacDonald.

"The people are what make this market special," MacDonald said. "It's seeing the same people every week and the things you can get at this market are hard to find at any other place."

The Peter's Landing Farmers Market, which has operated for two years this April, is one of seven farmers markets run by Local Harvest Farmers Markets. Other locations include Long Beach, San Pedro and Buena Park.

"I try to be really family-oriented, pro small business and pro small farmers," said Lee Ostendorf, director of the markets.

Depending on the weather, about 40 to 50 booths participate. Fresh produce, a handful of hot food vendors and an assortment of paintings, jewelry and other handmade goods can be found.

Anita Bennett, owner of Sunset Bay Candy Company from Upland, makes toffee and has been at Peter's Landing for about eight months.

After being laid off, Bennett decided to start her own business and hasn't regretted her decision.

"It's been going great," she said. "There's been so many little things with starting a business that I never knew. People love it."

About five booths down from Bennett's is a candle vendor operated by Lori Burrell called Kaum Home Fragrances.

Based in Long Beach, Burrell produces strong, yet relaxing candles made from coconut wax, making it clean burning, she said.

Her business has been around for two years but has only been at Peter's Landing for three weeks.

"I'm a newbie to this market, but I love it," Burrell said. "I live right down PCH, so it's an easy drive."

This isn't the first time Ostendorf has organized a farmers market. Back in 2007, she helped set up Surf City Nights while in its infancy.

After that, the city asked Ostendorf if she wanted to have another farmers market elsewhere.

"The city was incredible. They have some really good people at the city," she said. "I have had nothing but the best experience with them."

Like a resident trying to find the best vegetables and fruits at a produce booth, Ostendorf does her best to hand-pick worthy vendors for her market.

"There's lots of people that want to be in markets, but you have to weed through them and pick the ones that you think will do well there," she said. "You don't want to have [to have] somebody to fill the spot. You want someone who will be happy there and do well and be a good match for the market."

Twitter: @acocarpio

If You Go

What: Peter's Landing Farmers Market

Where: 16400 Pacific Coast Hwy.

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays

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