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Ventura College Foundation Marketplace Looks To Expand Number Of Saturday Produce Vendors
The Ventura College Foundation Marketplace, which operates every Saturday and Sunday on the Ventura College campus, is looking to expand the number of Saturday produce and pre-packaged food vendors.
"The Marketplace sells all types of fruits and vegetables,"
The Marketplace has 237 vendor spaces on Saturday and 325 on Sunday. In addition to produce and pre-packaged food, the Marketplace sells household products, appliances, tools, plants, arts/crafts, antiques/collectibles, toys, shoes, jewelry/accessories, cosmetics and imported and local bargains. Catering trucks and vendors offering such food fare as hot dogs, corn on the cob, kettle corn, raspados and other Mexican food choices are another attraction.
"The Marketplace is so popular because prices are low and the quality is high," says Juarez. "It's an ideal place to shop for families on a limited income and for people who seeking unique items at bargain prices."
Several of the vendors are Ventura College Foundation donors. Peter Tshing and his family have been part of the Marketplace since it began in 1985. Tshing can be found serving menudo, pozole, empanadas, tacos, torta cubana and gorditas from the family's two L & T Catering trucks. The catering company is also a food vendor at Ventura College, Moorpark College and Oxnard College.
Tshing established the Papa Kam Tong Scholarship and Mama Lin Tshing Scholarship at Ventura College in honor of his father who passed away a little over a year ago and his mother, to benefit business students who have demonstrated academic excellence. Tshing's parents emigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong in the 1970s.
"While serving food on the Ventura College campus, we saw firsthand the students' daily financial struggles. Our family knew we needed to help," says Tshing. "We contacted the Ventura College Foundation to start our first scholarship. Today we award five scholarships each year through the Ventura College Foundation. We believe that giving back to our community is so very important. When we first came to this country, it was hard living in a studio apartment with no car and little resources while starting our catering business. Students trying to compete and succeed today are much like us back then."
For over three decades, the Marketplace has hosted thousands of vendors and patrons every weekend. The Marketplace provides a link between Ventura College and the community. Vendors pay a modest fee to rent space. All county non-profit organizations can rent one or more free vendor spaces on Saturdays to set up an information booth or to use the space to sell goods for fundraising purposes. Marketplace proceeds pay for 50 percent of the VC Foundation's budget, including 60 percent of the VC Promise free tuition program and 75 percent of the textbook lending program.
"Many don't know that the Marketplace is a big reason why the Ventura College Foundation can help so many of their children obtain an affordable college education," says Tshing. "Everyone should come out and show their support."
Marketplace hours are Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission and general parking are free (premium parking is $1 on Saturdays and $5 on Sundays). For more Marketplace and vendor information, go to www.vcgiving.org, and click on the "Marketplace"
Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation provides financial support to the students and the programs of Ventura College to facilitate student success and grow the impact and legacy of Ventura College as a vital community asset. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace;