An Underwood Family Farms produce stand located in the College of the Canyons parking lot.

In a year full of adjusting to a new way of life, having something familiar and consistent can make each day a little more normal. The Santa Clarita Farmers Market has provided a fun way to shop since 1996. In 2020, it is a safe and reliable way to support smaller businesses that are struggling during COVID-19.

The Santa Clarita Farmers Market has a healthy selection of freshly grown fruits, vegetables, flowers, honey, and plenty of other organic products.

Wendi Mitchell, co-owner of Blue Ridge Honey, has been selling her honey at the farmers market for over three years in Santa Clarita.

“We are a family business that’s been beekeeping pretty much our whole lives,” Mitchell explains. “We are a hive to table (business). We manage our own hives, do our own extractions, bottle our own honey and give it to the customer.”

Co-owner of Blue Ridge Honey Wendi Mitchell sells honey to customer Jackie Cardenas

Mitchell has been affected by the pandemic when it comes to her supply chain. Acquiring simple, essential products for honey distribution such as jars and lids has become a problem. However, Blue Ridge Honey has remained financially on par with help from local shoppers.

“The individual sales picked up because of the immune building qualities of honey, so we’ve maintained. No better, no worse,” said Mitchell.

Joey Perry, a resident of Santa Clarita, feels the relationship has been beneficial to his family’s life and the community despite the strange times.

“This is a lot of their livelihoods and (we’re) totally happy to support, but on top of that, happy that we’re able to still come out and get our fresh food and produce like this.” Perry said, “(It) kind of gives you a chance to kind of give back to the community. We’ve become friends with a lot of people here and they are a part of our community.”

Joey Perry and his family, who are Santa Clarita residents, take a walk through the Santa Clarita Farmers Market.

Perry takes pride in helping small businesses and communities grow and believes it is crucial to continue to do so during the pandemic.

“I think it’s important personally for us, I haven’t even seen a reduction in people coming here, so I think a lot of people share that view of supporting small businesses,” he said.

Mitchell agrees, as the farmers market has helped Blue Ridge Honey gain business and a good reputation with customers.

“It gives me a chance to build an honest rapport with the customers. We are in some grocery stores (where) honey has gotten a bad name. So by coming out here, I’m able to show them the face of the company, let them know we are legitimate. We’re the honey you can trust,” she says.

The Santa Clarita Farmers Market is open every Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the College of the Canyons Valencia Campus.

From Canyons News: Jackie Cardenas, Colin Ferguson, Luis Felipe Gonzales, Sarah Hicks, Roland Sprewell.

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