Farmers Market at Third Street and Fairfax Avenue has been an L.A. landmark for three-quarters of a century now, even though it? been overshadowed by its upscale neighbor, the Grove, which opened in 2002.

In fact, the contrast between farmers and fashionistas was a deliberate strategy, said Mark Panatier, vice president of A.F. Gilmore Co., which owns the market.

?e knew the market couldn? live on its history,?Panatier said. ?o ensure its vitality, the underutilized property needed to be something other than just more acres of Farmers Market. The juxtaposition of the market and the Grove is symbiotic ?community retail versus fashion retail.?p>But to celebrate its 75th anniversary (which officially is July 14), the market is relying on its own history, not on an association with the glitzier neighbor.

For example, the market has installed ?emory boards?where shoppers can write their personal experiences about the location.

Actually, the market has history aplenty. It? said that James Dean ate breakfast there before he took off on the road trip that would be his last. Walt Disney drew his first sketches of Disneyland on an outdoor table there.

Despite the presence of the Grove, Panatier believes the market will become more of an attraction ?as a ?last from the past?experience.

?eople really like our old-fashioned style of grocery shopping,?he said. ?hen you can talk to your butcher and baker, it? very personalized and that? important for customers today.?p>

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.