A Cultural Flight Change: LAX Airport to Open Farmers’ Market

If you have ever taken a flight, you may have trouble finding good, healthy and local foods at airports.  Some airports provide better selection than others.  But more often than not, our choices are limited to fast food franchises or global coffee chains. 

That is all about to change at the Los Angeles International Airport.  The airport is planning to take a bit of the culture of the city of Los Angeles and merege it with the airport experience.

The Farmers’ Market on Third and Fairfax has been a fixture in the city for more than three quarters of a century.  (This is not to be confused with the various impromptu farmers’ markets found across the city.)  The farmers’ market is a destination for tourist and locals alike.

And if all goes to plan, that little piece of Los Angeles culture is expected to be found at Terminal 5 at LAX. Think of it as a small sampling of the original Farmers’ Market.

The establishment will not only serve fresh fruits and vegetables.  It will also sell snacks and other treats from the merchants of the Farmers’ Market: fresh peanut butter from Magee’s House of Nuts, hot sauces galore from Light My Fire, and even local Mexican food from ¡Lotería! Grill!, to name a few.

I wish we could be so lucky to have more local options at other terminals at LAX, as well as airports across the country.  Perhaps you know of some local secret delights from your home airport?

In this context, it is interesting to note how airports are hubs. Airports act as the hub that connects you to your destination directly (if you are lucky), or to a series of airports towards your final destination. But airports are also amazing hubs for culture and for shaping cultural destinations in a relatively tiny space.

Airport food service is all too often something you could find anywhere, like a McDonald’s or Starbucks.  By offering local food, some airports not only improve the quality of their offerings. They also show visitors a taste of the local culture.  Such nuances shape our cultural experience.  Wouldn’t it be great to have LAX scream “this is Los Angeles” when you step foot off the plane? What about your local airport?

Jonathan Mariano is an MBA candidate with the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA. His interests include the convergence between lean & green and pursuing free-market based sustainable solutions.

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