The buzz is building for a great newish neighborhood market in Highland Park, at the corner of York and Figueroa, just west of South Pas and south of Eagle Rock. With its clean graphics and open feel, Figueroa Produce stands out from its declassé neighbors (including an AutoZone and 99 Cent Store). The owners are a couple of local guys determined to make this a true neighborhood market — meaning one that’s equally appealing to artfully tattooed 20something vegetarians, immigrant moms and kids stopping in after the school around the corner gets out, and middle-aged guys looking for something good to barbecue. Although it lacks such mass-produced staples as breakfast cereal, Figueroa Produce is making all those neighbors happy.
Besides the remarkably friendly service (the hands-on owners seem to know all the shoppers personally), the main draw is the produce section, which is stocked with fresh and affordable stuff, including organic goods from the South Central Farmers’ Cooperative; check out the big bags of spring greens for $2.99, the lovely organic melons for 59 cents a pound, and the excellent herbs.
Improving every week, and fast becoming as important as the produce, is the meat and deli counter, notable for the recent addition of grass-fed beef (grass-feed ground beef is just $3.59 a pound!), as well as for tasty marinated chicken, flap steak and pork al pastor. Around the small store you’ll also find house-made and/or small-producer guacamole, salsas, caponatas and sauces; a wonderful selection of quality ice creams from McConnell’s, Choctal and Dr. Bob’s (yes, they have the Scharffen Berger chocolate ice cream); and coffee from Pasadena’s Jones.
By no means will you be able to get everything you’d get at Von’s, but they have the essentials: organic milk and eggs; fresh and packaged breads; cheeses; and some pastas, beans, grains and canned goods. And the owners are keen to know what regulars want stocked, so if you become a shopper, pipe up!
Figueroa Produce, 6312 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park, 323.255.3663, figueroaproduce.com. Open daily.