Fresco Community Market Is Worth A Visit

North East Los Angeles is full of wankers. Well maybe not full but teeming at the very least. They like to bitch and complain about how this area is great but if only it had this or that particular amenity they had grown accustomed to back in their old fancy community or generic suburb. Whenever I hear them whine (or mostly when I read their laments online) I want to poke them in the eyes, 3 Stooges style. Because for all that griping they are still never happy even when they get what they want. That seemed to be the case today when I finally visited this fairly new market in Hermon which was incredibly nearly empty of customers. Yes, I am arbitrarily going to use this visit to make some wild generalizations and to argue that catering to the monied hill people is a losing proposition.


Fresco opened in January of this year in the old space of Rancho Verde (which I remember fondly for their great and inspiring display of a well executed beer run) aiming to provide a higher standard of quality food than you will likely find at some of our local grocers that specialize in mostly processed fare. A quick walk around the store and it looks like they really do have their bases covered with fresh baked breads, lots of vegetarian and vegan options, a wide selection of produce and even some reasonably priced organic veggies. I got some nice sized organic aguacates for only $1.69, not bad at all. And as you can see in the photo above they even have organic quinoa (that nutty and delicious protein packed grain which you need to try) in bulk at only $3.99 a lb! That’s reasonable.

What is not reasonable is that there were hardly any shoppers in this store that seems to be exactly the kind of place so many NELA residents keep desiring. From a few things I’ve seen online it also seems that the store owners are having a hard time getting enough locals to check out the offerings. Which is really not surprising.

Wow! Look at that awesome selection of craft beers! I’d rather see this then stacks of Bud Light, but that’s cuz I’m an asshole beer snob.

Maybe they do get enough customers but my instinct tells me they don’t. You can sense when a store is hurting. Even at this midday hour my beloved and hated Big Saver on Ave 26 would be packed with señoras and Chinese cooks looking for some veggies. At Fresco the aisles were empty. Oh yes I loved it but I know that is not a good sign. Over the hill at the South Pasadena Trader Joe’s I’m sure you’d be battling with oblivious grannies of all ages just to get through the store since nobody in that community has ever heard about moving over to the side while you inspect your packaged salads.

BTW, why the fuck aren’t you middle class people aware about what is happening behind you? Do you feel so safe that you can’t even imagine anyone would ever take your wallet or stab you from behind? If I were you, and considering the coming crisis, I’d start paying attention to my surroundings.

Around the bend and I find even more awesome beer choices! Luckily I brought my credit card, I don’t want to be the first one to start the Beer Run Wall of Glory.

Fresco Community Market stocks many of those specialty items I will not find at my local Smart & Final and it is much closer and affordable than going to Whole Foods. I find it astounding that despite having that hill of rich fucks over in Mt. Washington this place isn’t getting traction. But, yet again, not surprising. People with money do not give a shit about the community they live in, all they care about is convenience. “I have to drive a few blocks out of my way? I’ll just go to the Gelson’s near work.” Which is why catering to the upscale market in a downscale neighborhood is always a losing proposition.

I feel kinda bad for Fresco for offering way too much service to a community that will not appreciate the gesture, but this is going to be the final nail on the coffin on all that stupid local talk about how NELA can support some luxury stores. Put up or shut up.

I really like all the options available at Fresco, and even though I’m not too local I plan to stop by more often. But I think I know where this party is headed.

For some really good pics of the Fresco Market check out this set from waltarrrrr

10 thoughts on “Fresco Community Market Is Worth A Visit

  1. I remember when the Albertson’s on Figueroa turned into the Superior and how up in arms the monied folk of Mt Washington was. Such a fickle bunch, these people are…

  2. The only thing that will end Fresco is it’s location: shitty in an age of automobility (hidden in a valley off the main thoroughfares in the area) and shitty when the cars stop running (Hills! On every damn side, hills!).

  3. At first I thought guacatela, when I heard mention of Fresco Market. I was under the assumption that it was that overpriced and nasty-ass market on Huntinton Drive… But to my surprise it wasn’t, my bad…. I have driven by a few times but never really gone inside… Happy to say that I will be stopping by soon. The beer photos did it for me, I guess the hanging out with beer snobs can rub off on me 😉

  4. I have shopped at Fresco since the first day they opened! Did you know that they also have a Fresco Community Foundation that give portion of the gross sales to local schools and non-profit organizations? They also partnered with the LA Mission “back to work” program and since they opened they have hired 14 homeless people to work at Fresco.

  5. I checked out this place a month ago.There are a lot of cool stuff , but the basic things like milk ,eggs, OJ, are more expensive.However I try to shop there now and then hoping may little contributions will help postpone the eventual closure.

  6. Agreed. I worry about that place too. My ONLY gripe with Fresco is there is no Fresco, as in SALSA FRESCO! Fresh salsa being one of my 5 food staples, it pains me to only find factory-made salsa with lots of preservatives and little flavor. But other than that, the staff and food selection is great!

    Thanks for linking to my dead-bird-free pics.

  7. i love blaming the hill folk for all kinds of things, but they actually did turn out in force when this place first opened. back then, even in the middle of a weekday, drivers had to park in spaces that weren’t the one closest to the door. i think a compare/contrast (mostly contrast) with the much smaller, much successfuller (yes, i prefer one non-word to two “real” words) figueroa produce pretty much tells the story.

  8. You won’t find any of these stores out in Montebello, Pico Rivera or Whittier. Are we the real Eastside now ?

Leave a Reply

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