Stock Your Gourmet Pantry at This Culver City Art Gallery-Turned-Conscious Market

"It's a mash-up between an art gallery and an international marketplace with a social conscience."

Gratitude Market Culver City
View Gallery 9 Photos
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City
Gratitude Market Culver City

When the pandemic shuttered scores of local businesses and social services, it also exacerbated the vulnerability of those in need. Community members with access to resources also stepped up, including Downtown Culver City's The Whole 9 art gallery.

What began as a COVID food bank for local students and their families resulted in Gratitude Market, a new globally-inspired grocery boutique that now shares space with the art gallery. Customers can now restock their pantries, kitchens, and yes, even their halls and walls, and there's a permanent food pantry that's open every Wednesday and "provides food for some of our neighbors, [from] our neighbors," says shop owner and founder Lisa Schultz.

Gratitude Market Culver City
Photo: Courtesy of Gratitude Market

"When the lockdown happened in March and it became clear we were going to have to close, I reached out to local community leaders to ask how we could use our resources to help," explains Schultz. "Families of students in the local school district were in need of food, so we immediately turned The Whole 9 Gallery into a food bank and, in partnership with our donors and the local community, organized a weekly distribution that included food we purchased, donated food, fruit from neighbors' trees, and other necessities."

Schultz's nonprofit organization, The Peace Project, created Culver City Shares, which provided $250,000 worth of food and necessities to 1,000 local families. The program "ensured that our neighbors, CCUSD families, and our restaurant workers had enough food during the early months of COVID," she explains.

In addition to the gallery's existing offerings of handmade jewelry, blown glass decor, ceramics, home goods, art, toys, and other artisanal giftables by local and international makers, shoppers can find a range of shelf-stable and refrigerated pantry staples, specialty foods from around the world, and fresh bites.

Currently on shelves are locally-baked loaves and pastries from Clark Street Bread Company, Jennifer Pennifer, and Orange Butter Bakery as well as delicious seasonings by Spicewalla, fair-trade olive oils and grains from Palestine-based Canaan, cookbooks by celebrated global chefs, a selection of fresh vegetables and herbs.

The community-minded space will also feature a communal recipe box that shoppers can pick from or add to, plus a neighborhood bulletin board in the back where locals can share news about their businesses and events.

Sales from the market support The Peace Project, which also carries out humanitarian work in many of the countries whose flavors are found on its grocery shelves. "Our goal is to represent [those] regions that are important to us and use food to share stories of their culture and struggles," she adds.

"We want to create a space that is exciting to our customers — providing all kinds of great stuff from artisanal gifts, to freshly baked bread to specialty foods at a reasonable price, in a warm, visually interesting environment," continues Schultz. "[It's] sort of a mash-up between an art gallery and an international marketplace with a social conscience."

The ultimate goal? Schultz says Gratitude Market and Whole 9 will continue to "keep supporting artisans, provide something of value to the community, and share with others who need a hand up.  The last 10 years have shown us that could take us, literally, anywhere."

Scroll through the gallery above for another peek inside the space, and see below for the hours and address.

Gratitude Market, 3830 Main St., Culver City, 90232; Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.; 310-836-4600

Proud Member Of FFC
Get Our Newsletter