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Couple starts farmers market in Cal City that continues to thrive

Shauna and Ryan Royten saw a great need for a farmers market in Cal City during the pandemic and started one the following year.
Posted at 6:54 PM, Nov 14, 2023
  • In this video, families from nearby neighborhoods enjoy shopping at the Cal City Farmers Market at Central Park.
  • Shauna and Ryan Royten started a farmers market in California City two years ago after seeing a great need for one during the pandemic.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

On most Saturdays, this parking lot at Central Park in California City used to be empty. Now it’s filled with people shopping at a farmers market.

A farmer’s market in the desert?

You heard right!

“The farmers market ended up being way more than we could ever dream it could be because when we initially started the market our goal was to bring food security here. But once we started we realized it’s so much more. We’re actually bringing community together. We’re capacity building," Shauna Royten said.

Each Saturday, Shauna and Ryan Royten have a family outing at Central Park and everyone in the community is invited. Two years ago they started a farmers market after seeing a great need for one during the pandemic. It continues to thrive.

“She had a dream about this for years, ‘Oh, I wanna start a farmers market,’ and we lived in a town where it was needed, went for it, and we recruited all these different farmers and people, and working with getting all these different permits. It was a lot of work, but it all paid off,” Ryan Royten said.

The Roytens are also the founders of the non-profit R.E.A.C.H., which stands for: Royten’s Enrichment Academy Community Hope. The details of their story and purpose can be found at REACHCA.org.

They want to provide the community with access to food security and healthy food. They created a community garden near the senior center at Central Park.

Through the farmers market they’ve also helped local businesses and farmers.

“The community is very supportive and we really appreciate them. They do so much for us. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be able to do this. This has been our dream since we were really little,” said Nicole Basinger of Right As Rain Ranch.

The farmers market recently partnered with CAPK, which provides healthy food recipe demonstrations. The farmers market also serves as a social gathering for many in nearby neighborhoods.

“The thing I like most is the sense of community. I come out, I buy fresh vegetables and I get to talk to people who live next door to me and I had no clue they were there,” said Destiny Santos, a Cal City Farmers Market shopper.

The Roytens plan to add more helpful and healthy sessions for the community.


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