The Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles is celebrating its 75th birthday this week. KPCC’s Brian Watt stopped by for a slice of history... and pizza.
Brian Watt: There wasn’t any pizza on the first day of the Farmers Market. On July 14, 1934, 18 merchants – most of them farmers – set up shop. They paid the promoters and property owner, the A.F. Gilmore Company, 50 cents a day to sell their wares.
The pizza arrived 15 years later, when Pasquale D’Amore opened Patsy D’Amore’s Italian Food restaurant. Though D’Amore had been selling pizza for 10 years at a place in Hollywood, his daughter Filomena says it was still a pretty exotic product.
Filomena D’Amore: My father actually had to convince Mr. Gustavich who was running the farmer’s market at that time, and Mr. Gilmore, that pizza’s a good thing, people will like pizza, and they will like spaghetti, believe it or not.
Watt: Today, the same red brick oven that Pasquale D’Amore fired up 60 years ago still turns out Neapolitan pies. Although these days pizza competes with cuisine from places like Brazil and Singapore, Filomena D’Amore says the pizzeria still grabs plenty of the Farmer’s Market’s 3 million annual visitors.