Farmers’ Market Vendor Spotlights

It’s official: the Memorial Day Weekend is over and summer has begun. This means a turnover in offerings and seasonal specialties for many Grand Lake Farmers’ Market merchants.  Splashpad News is spotlighting three vendors this month to learn about the tasty treats they are most excited to share with their customers at this time.

Delightful Foods:

Abdulla at Delightful Foods pies booth

Delightful Foods is a family-owned, East Oakland-based company that’s been in business for 45 years. They have been vending at the Grand Lake Farmers’ market for close to seven years. They’re a bakery famous for their 19 varieties of pies and their special golden crusts. Abdullah Sabir and his siblings all take part in this generational family trade, which was started by his father and mother. Their summertime flavors are apricot, peach, and cherry. In addition to pies, they offer three types of cookies, including a vegan option.

Splash Pad News: What’s the pie you are most excited about for this season?

Abdullah: “I think all seasons… We’re super excited about our sweet potato pie. It’s our best pie, our best seller. It’s our oldest recipe. We’ve had that recipe for more than 100 years in the family. My grandmother, who passed away nearly 20 years ago, gave it to my dad 40 years ago. He asked for it and she said “I don’t have it written down. You better get your notebook and watch me sprinkle a little bit of this and that.”

It’s a very special pie indeed! Be sure to check out the Delightful Foods website, and definitely try some of the pie.

Lakshmi Lassi

Emi Falia is the owner of Lakshmi Lassi. He has been in business for 14 years. His focus is exclusively on chai and Lassis.  Lassi is an Indian yogurt drink that is served sweet or savory. Emmy’s lassi recipe was inspired by his travels to India where he developed an affinity towards Indian culture and fell in love with its flavors.  He wanted to bring the authentic lassi experience back to the Bay Area. Over the years, he has developed relationships with farmers and tea growers and imports his spices from India whenever possible, utilizing at least 30 spices in each batch of chai. April 13 marked his 13-year anniversary at the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market.

SPN: What’s the one flavor you are most excited about this season?

Emi: “I’m really excited about doing the berry lassi as [berries] come into season from different vendors and so on. And I’m most fond of the strawberry lassi. The strawberries are tasting great; there’s nothing like a good strawberry.”

SPN: Can you tell us a little bit about what’s in the strawberry lassi?

Emi: “It’s a combination of market strawberries, a little bit of spice, and Strauss organic yogurt.”

Sounds delicious!

Tomato Man

Tomato Man

Nick Harper represents Tomato Man, a farm located near Kern county. His company has been selling its produce in the Grand Lake Farmers’ Market for 12 years. In addition to tomatoes, they also offer cucumbers, musk melons, and stone fruit, but the tomatoes are their pride and joy. Grown from seeds that come all the way from Vietnam, their tomato varieties are rare and exotic. They also specialize in cross-breeding different types of tomatoes. The damsel, their original flagship, is a cross between a Japanese plum tomato and a brandywine.

SPN: What’s the tomato you are most proud of at this time?

Nick Harper: “Our tomatoes are the amazing thing we bring to this market. They’re greenhouse grown and we do everything organically. Our best ones right now are our Cherry Grape tomatos!”

Madhavi headshot

By Madhavi athanikar.

Madhavi Athanikar has lived in the Grand Lake neighborhood for three years and recently left her job in fashion and retail management to look for her next adventure.



4 responses to “Farmers’ Market Vendor Spotlights”

  1. Jerry Barclay Avatar
    Jerry Barclay

    I buy cherry tomatoes weekly from Nick. They are fantastic, especially considering he has been in the market for the last couple of months. I’m glad I don’t have to stand in line at the Grand Lake Farmers Market to buy his products. In Marin on Sunday mornings, at AIM’s flagship farmers market, there is always a line of 15 or more people queuing up for his tomatoes.

    Love your articles, Madhave.

  2. Susi Vogler Avatar
    Susi Vogler

    Thanks Madhavi I will definitely venture beyond my usual produce stand stops for some Lassi and pie! Good tomatoes seem to be hard to come by so this is great! Makes me want to sample more of what is at the market! Looking forward to reviewing your other market explorations!

  3. Victoria Barbero Avatar
    Victoria Barbero

    These articles are great. Make me want to visit the Farmers’ market more often.
    Thank you.

  4. Kenneth Katz Avatar
    Kenneth Katz

    Great article, Madhavi — which is very much appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.