in Destinations & Landmarks

The Original Farmers Market: People Have Been Meeting at Third & Fairfax for 80 Years

Cheerful greetings of “Hi” and “Good to see you” in a sunny Irish dialect can be heard on any given afternoon from behind the counter at Magee’s House of Nuts at LA’s Original Farmers Market. The infectious salutations come from Doris Perez, who has been serving customers there for over 50 years. “I came here from Ireland in 1959 with the plan to stay for one year.” Perez (formerly Leach), who briefly worked as a nanny for an Encino family, says, “I liked it so much that I just never left.” Working first at the Market’s Desert Date Shop in 1963, she moved to Du-Pars shortly thereafter in 1968, where she would stay for 38 years. When they closed for remodeling, she moved over to Magee’s where she’s been ever since. “If people like to buy a particular thing, I write it down, along with their name, so I can always remember what they want when they come here.” Ever-ingrained in the history of this famous place, Perez, who has waited on everyone from heads of state like Eisenhower and Bush, to music mega-stars the Beatles, seems to have been there forever. But the story of this colorful, local market…

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