Our mission comes from personal experience.
Having witnessed the slow and steady decline of his father’s health on a poor diet, Farmer Mark cultivated his passion for promoting the importance of fruits and vegetables on our plates. Farmer Mark started the Sprouts of Promise Foundation in 2009 as a 501(c)(3).
The Sprouts of Promise mission is to give children and their families access to locally grown produce, while educating them on the the importance of healthy eating habits and the benefits of buying local.
Who is Farmer Mark?
Fueled by a knowledge of the power of real food, a passion for healthy living and a background as a tomato farmer, Mark is dedicated to improving the well-being of all of them. He does so through his six certified farmers’ markets and the non-profit organization Sprouts of Promise.
As Mark explains, "Our vision is to create the best market experience for both farmers and the community."
Mark serves on the Board of the State of California Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee, which advises the Secretary of Agriculture, and has given a TEDx talk on how he “fell in love with a tomato.”
HISTORY | Finance to Farmer, Farmer to Vendor
After a masters degree in finance and a career in investment banking, Farmer Mark stumbled upon a career in agriculture when his dot.com aspirations burst with the bubble in 2001.
Instead, Mark found himself in the business of tomatoes. He spent the next six years running a small tomato farm in Ventura County using organic, hydroponic and conventional growing methods.
An abundance of crops lead to selling in the local farmers' markets. Seeing a glaring need for a better run market, Mark decided to create his own. He now runs five certified farmers' markets in southern California.
MISSION | Farm to Market, Market to Community
Farmer Mark believes it takes a community to create a healthy lifestyle. His non-profit organization, Sprouts of Promise, teaches elementary students and their families about healthy eating and responsible farming practices.
Farmer Mark's vision for his markets is to uphold the highest integrity, keep the best interest of the farmer and community in mind, educate consumers and actively promote the benefits of locally sourced produce.
With this “Farmer First” philosophy, Mark strives to cultivate the best conditions for small farmers to sell the freshest and most nutritious produce direct to the community.