On the Town: Farmers market debuts its new location; Glendale Assistance League opens Thrift Alley

Last Thursday was opening day of the revamped farmers market in Glendale as the Downtown Glendale Assn. assumed its management.

Not only was the market's name changed to the Downtown Glendale Market, but a move from North Brand Boulevard to a new venue was also in order. Every Thursday, the Downtown Glendale Market can be found in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Glendale, located at 209 N. Louise Street, between California and Wilson avenues.

Open rain or shine, the market, which opened at 9 a.m., brought out the hungry and the curious. Glendale neighbors Maricel Garcia, Be Salazar and Lucina Narciso strolled among more than two dozen certified organic farmers' booths.

They sampled goodies from booth offerings of prepared foods, fresh fish, pre-packaged foods, crafts and jewelry as well as artisan soap and lotions.

The booth the three stopped at was "Memory Lane Cuisine," owned by vendor Marguerite Duncan-Abrams, assisted by Cynthia Flores, a senior at Franklin High School.

Duncan-Abrams, a former Glendale resident, sold Garcia, Salazar and Narciso three sacks of chocolate pecan macaroons for a grand total of $15. Accompanying their purchase was a $1 coupon good for a future purchase.

Duncan-Abrams assured her customers that her bakery goods are all made from her family's recipes, hence the "Memory Lane" moniker. The recipes begin with her great-grandmothers' baking in the 1890s all the way up to specialties by Duncan-Abrams' daughter. The chocolate pecan macaroon recipe comes from Duncan-Abrams' mother.

Duncan-Abrams is new to the Downtown Glendale Market. She was invited to join based on her good reputation developed as a vendor at the South Pasadena and Old Pasadena markets.

She is a moneymaker. She estimates that in Pasadena she would sell between 80 to150 packaged goodies in a morning. All packages are $5. She expects that her $750 maximum amount will be exceeded in Glendale because the market's hours are longer — from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

A double booth was set up by members of the parking-lot host, First Baptist Church of Glendale. Senior Pastor Matt Andrews took advantage of the market's crowd on the first day to garner donations for the church's food pantry. Members of the Senior Fellowship passed out tiny, handmade gift boxes.

Watch for the Downtown Glendale Market every Thursday.


Last Wednesday marked another opening. The Glendale Assistance League's Thrift Alley opened for business after being closed during the last week of December and the first week of January.

It couldn't be soon enough for its regulars. Glendale neighbors Maria Rivera and Margarita Cruz come "almost every day," according to Cruz. Their favorite items are jewelry, clothes and purses sold for pennies on the dollar.

Leotta Readnower, another Glendale regular, shops once or twice a week at Thrift Alley. She often buys children's' gifts to donate to her church's collection bin. Readnower estimates she spends $25 to $50 a visit.

Not only is she charitable, she's also determined. Readnower walks with the help of her walker nine blocks from her home at Broadway and Pacific Avenue to Thrift Alley, near Harvard and Louise streets.

Today's hearty band of league volunteers included greeter Jan Craig. Also, Karen Millman, league president, Alma Tycer, immediate past president and Clay Kempson kept busy behind the counter ringing up sales. Millman estimated that about 100 customers visited Thrift Alley by the end of opening day.

The chairperson of Thrift Alley is longtime league member Sylvia Kowal.

Thrift Alley has been in operation for 71 years. As the league's main source of income, it helps fund the organization's philanthropies. The league's other funding source is its annual Festival of Trees.


RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World