The Oaks Village presents the first annual Special Holiday Boutique Mini-Market

The Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market Association is holding the first annual Special Holiday Boutique Mini-Market. The event is held at the outdoor village of the Oaks Mall. At the function, customers are met with a variety of goods made in California. The mini-market is ongoing on Thursdays from 12pm to 5pm until December 21.

The event is a smaller version of the normal market, and, with the new location, they hope to reach new customers.

“We are lucky enough that we are in such a prime agricultural area, about 75% of our farmers are in Ventura, LA, or Santa Barbara county. Some come from as far away as Nipomo, San Luis Obispo area, I’ve got some that come from the central valley like Fresno and then we’ve got a couple that come from down south,” Karen Wetzel Schott, Operations Manager of the Ventura County Certified Farmers’ Market, said.

“We are hoping that a lot of people come into the mall (who) never even realized that we are out there at that parking lot,” Wetzel Schott said, “We are reaching the merchants in here, so their employees are coming down here and shopping. We are hoping when we get them to follow us in January when we go back out there.”

Although the market has been made smaller from its normal size, there are still many different commodities that are sold at this Mini-Market. Some of these include Japanese cucumbers, beef, orchids, many assortments of vegetables, local honeys, wine, german sausages, baked goods and many more.

Amy Hunohan, has been selling in the market for eight years now. She offers Japanese cucumbers, Japanese tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and Persian cucumbers. All of the food that she sells is grown in Oxnard. Her favorite thing about the market is the price. “(It is a) nice price and the people are good people,” Hunohan said.

Another vendor, Debbie Bitterly of Novy Ranches, has been selling in the market for six years. Her father owns the ranch he bought when she was thirteen, in 1976. Novy Ranches sells grass fed beef and their ranch is located in Mount Shasta.

The thing Bitterly claims that sets their meats apart from the rest is that they have “been breeding them so they are easy keepers. Easy for them to put fat in their muscle and they have tenderness qualities which makes for a very high quality steak,” Bitterly said.

The mini-market has lots to offer to customers, but consumers must be aware of some basic guidelines. First, pets are not allowed due to the state health regulations. Next, bags for carrying the purchased goods are not provided. Finally, bartering, trading or negotiating prices with vendors is not allowed.

The mini-market is open on the 14th and 21st of December. The mini-market had four dates that bridged the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wetzel Schott said that shoppers can “count on that product to be there for holiday meals.”

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