SOUTH LOS ANGELES ( — A new kind of market in South Los Angeles is offering local residents healthy options and much more.

With Love Market and Café is at 1969 S. Vermont Ave. in an area crowded with liquor stores.

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Owner Andrew McDowell said alcohol is something he will not sell at his store. He said providing fresh produce to families in the under-served neighborhood is a priority.

“We want to be able to be the ones that are bringing these positive helpful options and really keeping away from the things that are unnecessary,” McDowell said.

But the new market offers more than just fresh produce. Customers can take advantage of free programs including cooking classes, gardening workshops and lessons on how to handle simple household finances.

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Karla Vasquez teaches twice a week a free bilingual cooking class on how to make healthy dishes, such as lettuce wraps with garbanzo beans instead of meat.

Cutting the fat has special meaning here. “If I cook that brown rice and those veggies, some turkey bacon, I’ll have a meal that’ll feed my family. It’ll cost me like $10 instead of $15.

The market also offers free financial workshops on saving for college, buying a home and programs that link neighborhood kids to internships.

In addition, the store offers free daycare while parents take classes on nutrition.

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“In my neighborhood, it’s only McDonald’s, Burger King, all kind. The food is not good for us. So, we try all the time to cook at home,” Olga Mesa said.