Meet the Moms behind LA’s most beloved Family Farms
WEISER FAMILY FARMS
Back in 1977, Mama and Papa Weiser (Sid and Raquel) were looking for a change. Sid was working as a chemistry teacher in East Los Angeles when he decided to follow his dreams and purchased an apple farm. He packed up the family and moved to Tehachapi, CA, 2 hours northeast of Los Angeles. Son and culinary rockstar Alex had this to say about his adorable hard-working Mom:
“She’s absolutely the backbone of Weiser Family Farms. She is only 4′ 10″, always wears a smile and talks with a quiet voice. But she’s still tough as nails. No one works harder than her. She leads by example. She’s like the Energizer bunny; always keeping busy from pulling weeds, making transplants, feeding us (she’s a great cook), and working farmers’ markets.”
THAO FAMILY FARMS
Mother of ten, Khoua Thao, is the brain and life force behind many of your favorite Asian veggies. After leaving a war-torn Southeast Asia and bringing her children to Fresno, she (along with husband Vang) began the farm that her son Kong now runs.
Kong said the success of the farm was completely due to his mom’s expertise. She knew precisely what she wanted, and most important, how it should taste and feel. “Everything we do,” said Kong, “honestly, it’s all in my mom’s head.”
Kong now has a daughter of his own with his wife, another superstar Mom, Pang Vang. Kong keeps hoping Mom and Dad will retire and take it easy, but he admits, they can’t stop!
Molly and her husband Rick have been running Harry’s Berries farm in Oxnard, CA since she took over the farm from her father. She’s worked hard to keep the farm in the family, today running it alongside their many children and grandchildren. Molly tells us that not only does love that she gets to work with her family every day, but that all her family has decided to continue to live on the property and share their magical farm with them is heart-warming. “As a grandma, it’s a dream I never dared to dream!”
A long time FarmBox and GrubMarket friend, Maryann Carpenter and her son Mark run Coastal Farms, famous for the most beloved tomatoes in Southern California. Maryann is an inspiration and a legend in Los Angeles, working for nearly 40 years in the food world. Farming is hard work. “Anyone can go to the grocery store… but when you buy from us, you’re supporting a family.” We agree! We love and are always happy to support, the Carpenter family.
M. GREENWOOD JAMS
The mother-daughter team Julie and Margaret have made a business from their fourth-generation family heritage. Margaret’s grandmother made jam, as did her mother before her, and so the art of preserves has been… preserved! Margaret has shared her mother Julie’s love of cooking, baking, and jammin’ since she was a little girl, but it took a push from friends and family to take their sweet hobby into the business world. Even now with their success, they like to keep things very small. Mother Julie has taken over as head chef, while Margaret deals with the distribution, sales, and marketing.