San Diego, CA-based online farmers market Market Box recently expanded its delivery area to Los Angeles. The online market brings together more than 50 local farmers market vendors offering more than 600 plant-based items—all made by local food makers, including produce that is locally grown in Southern California. Market Box founders Jessica Davis and Amanda Zollinger Waterman were two plant-based farmers market vendors themselves when they decided to create the company. 

Earlier this year, when they heard that farmers markets were going to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo pooled their resources in an effort to keep their businesses running and their employees working. “Finding vendors was the easy part—everyone was looking for sales outlets and we had relationships already built from doing farmers markets. What we did not plan was everything else. Just finding supplies, alone, was so difficult,” Davis and Zollinger Waterman told VegNews. “Our community helped us so much—we would not have been able to pull this off without friends volunteering, families flying in from out of town to help, vendors being insanely patient and kind to us, companies renting us refrigerated vans off their own fleet, and our customers that were so sweet, understanding, and encouraging, through every steep learning curve we experienced.”

In addition to locally made products and produce, Market Box offers a Mystery Box, which is filled with $50 worth of the company’s favorite vegan grocery items and produce. Market Box also offers a Compassion Box, which was created in partnership with nonprofit organization Kitchens For Good. The Compassion Box allows customers to purchase a culinary box for a set amount and Market Box will buy that amount in fresh food to be donated every week to communities around the city, including at-risk students who are unable to continue their studies at home. 

“We love this company. We love our vendors. We love our customers,” Davis and Zollinger Waterman said. “It is such an amazing honor to be trusted enough to help keep Southern California farms and businesses afloat and families fed. We truly are so grateful to be doing something so positive in this rocky, uncertain time.”

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