Women owned businesses thrive at iconic Original Farmers Market in LA's Fairfax District

Women owned businesses are thriving at the iconic Original Farmers Market in L.A.'s Fairfax District.
FAIRFAX DISTRICT, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The corner of Third and Fairfax is a fan favorite for Angelenos and tourists alike. It is home to the Original Farmers Market, a market rich in food, culture and history.

And working behind the counters are several women entrepreneurs.

"I feel empowered. It's wonderful and anybody can do it," Lilian Sears said, smiling.

Sears owns Coffee Corner. She moved to the U.S. from El Salvador when she was 18 years old, with just $32 in her pocket. Sears began working at the Coffee Corner. And 23 years ago, she purchased the business from her former boss.

"Anything is possible in this life. You just have to have the love and the passion," she said.

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Filomena D'Amore owns Patsy D'Amore's Pizzeria. The business was started by her father in 1949 when pizza was 20 cents per cut, and Frank Sinatra was a regular customer.

"It's fabulous. I mean I've worked very hard. I've put a lot of effort into the pizzeria and it was definitely worth it and this is a great place to be, the farmers market," Filomena said.

She's still here 72 years later. Her pizza and spaghetti remain a huge hit.

"You have to love the business. It's hard work but it's certainly worth it," she explained.

Katie Gilbert owns Charlie's Coffee Shop. It's a business her late mother, Charlie Sue Gilbert, began in 1976.

"I'm proud that I can continue it and it's been able to support myself and my kids. And I'm putting both of my kids through college," Gilbert said.

French toast, omelets and burgers are some of their best sellers.

These women are just a few of the women owners in the farmers market family. They hope their stories will inspire and encourage other women who have dreams of owning their own business.

"It's hard work, especially in a restaurant, I'm here all the time. But it pays off and it's very rewarding. And do it and stick with it and you'll be really happy you did," Gilbert explained.

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