By Ashley MackinThe dusty vacant lot on La Jolla Boulevard between Playa Del Sur and Gravilla Street, on which Christmas trees are sold during the holiday season, has a new spring and summer vendor.
Thacker Berry Farms set up shop in early February, and will continue to sell strawberries and blueberries from the cart there through the berry season, ideally July.
Based in Long Beach, Thacker Berry Farms has stands across Los Angeles and Orange County. It focuses its setups in “nicer areas” within those counties, said berry farm owner Ted Thacker, so naturally, they wanted their first San Diego location to be in La Jolla. Thacker plans other stands across San Diego in the near future.
He explained the process: First, a purveyor must contact the owner of the property and create a lease agreement with them. Next, they must apply for all the necessary permits from the City of San Diego, including approval from the health department. A portable toilet must be available on site for employees manning the stand.
With all the necessary paperwork done and filed, and rental fees and insurance established, the Thacker Berry stand opened to positive reactions from customers.
“A lot of people have said they are happy we are there and welcomed us to the neighborhood,” Thacker said. “It’s not our busiest stand, but it’s also not our smallest stand, so we expect business to pick up as people come by and tell their friends.”
In their La Jolla lot, cars can pull into one gate, walk up and purchase the fruit and drive out a second gate. The berries are priced on how sweet or tart they are and the amount purchased. The strawberries are grown in Oxnard, Ca. and delivered daily, the blueberries come from Oceanside — both of which, Thacker boasts are “the best berries you will ever have.”
The now-vacant land, which reportedly housed a gas station several years back, is owned and for lease by Sam Dimenstein. Of the Marengo-Morton Architects sign out front, Dimenstein said there were plans two years ago for Marengo-Morton to develop the lot, but plans were put on hold and never resumed. He said he plans to remove the sign.