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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Long Beach

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Long Beach, CA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Long Beach's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Long Beach. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Long Beach, CA. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Long Beach, CA

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Long Beach,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Long Beach, CA

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Long Beach, CA

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Long Beach, CA

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Long Beach, CA, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Long Beach, CA

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Long Beach, CA

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Long Beach, CA.

 Greek Grocery Store Long Beach, CA

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Long Beach, CA

Latest News in Long Beach, CA

Huntington Station, Long Beach and Lindenhurst get millions from NY to revitalize downtowns

Huntington Station was awarded a $10 million state grant, and Long Beach and Lindenhurst each received $4.5 million, to revitalize their downtowns, New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez announced Tuesday.Huntington Town was the sixth recipient statewide of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative this year but the money is designated for Huntington Station. The town has plans to continue sewer improvements down New York Avenue through Huntington Station, attract new mixed-use businesses and apartments, and make street improvem...

Huntington Station was awarded a $10 million state grant, and Long Beach and Lindenhurst each received $4.5 million, to revitalize their downtowns, New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez announced Tuesday.

Huntington Town was the sixth recipient statewide of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative this year but the money is designated for Huntington Station. The town has plans to continue sewer improvements down New York Avenue through Huntington Station, attract new mixed-use businesses and apartments, and make street improvements and beautify blighted properties.

The awards are recommended by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council to Albany and are approved by the governor. It is one of 10 councils across the state that reviews applications for state tax credits and grants. Each council is made of up of business executives, nonprofit officials, educators and union leaders. All are volunteers appointed by the governor.

“The Huntington Station community deserves a safe, walkable, and affordable downtown where residents can thrive," Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. "This strategic investment will revitalize the community, and I can't wait to get shovels in the ground to transform Huntington Station into a must-see destination for tourists and local visitors alike."

Huntington is already in the process of a county- and state-funded $44 million sewer project through Huntington Station that Supervisor Ed Smyth said would be key to attracting businesses and redevelopment with public and private partnerships along the Route 110 corridor.

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“This will put us over the top,” Smyth said, accepting the grant Tuesday at the Huntington Community First Aid Squad building. “On Long Island, sewers are everything.”

Smyth noted the history of downtown Huntington Station, which started in 1867 as an expansion of the rail depot. He said the federal government attempted an urban renewal project in the 1960s, which leveled about 86 businesses surrounding the train station into parking lots.

“We’ve been trying to bring it back ever since,” Smyth said.

Smyth said the town also would like to add a filming office near the train station to attract movie and television crews to film in Huntington.

Huntington is the latest Long Island community to receive the $10 million downtown grant in recent years, following previous awards on Long Island in Westbury, Hicksville, Central Islip, Baldwin, Amityville and Riverhead.

Long Beach and Lindenhurst received smaller $4.5 million awards under the state’s NY Forward program to help smaller communities with downtown improvements.

Long Beach City Council member John Bendo said the city had been working on an economic turnaround before the pandemic to improve the city’s finances and attract new residents and economic development.

Bendo said the city was ranked by the state as its most fiscally stressed municipality during a recent three-year period.

He noted developer Engel Burman’s project to add 200 condos and 233 oceanfront apartments on the Superblock project as the largest construction project on Long Island.

About 16% of Nassau County’s housing are rentals, Bendo said, and Long Beach has about 45% rentals to attract young professionals to stay in the city.

“We were a mess, quite frankly. The last three years we’ve been working hard to turn finances around … and make investments in ignored infrastructure,” Bendo said. “So there's a lot going on in Long Beach right now that we're working on to move us forward.”

Lindenhurst Mayor Michael Lavorata said the village continued to make progress in improving its downtown during the pandemic, opening 13 new businesses, including nine restaurants.

He said he intended to make downtown Lindenhurst more walkable and family-oriented, to build upon 260 new apartments and transit-oriented development.

“This is a game changer for us and we’re so honored to be in the same company as these communities,” Lavorata said.

With James T. Madore

John Asbury is a breaking news and general assignment reporter. He has been with Newsday since 2014 and previously worked at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California.

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Convention center’s lax record-keeping stymied audit of millions in public funds, firm says

A facilities-improvement fund at the Long Beach convention center lacked “key internal controls” to safeguard millions of dollars in public money, according to an accounting firm hired by the city to examine the fund after a whistleblower’s allegations of lax oversight and wasteful spending.In a summary of its findings released last month, the firm said bookkeeping for the fund had deviated so markedly from industry-standard accounting practices that it was “difficult to evaluate” whether money was being ...

A facilities-improvement fund at the Long Beach convention center lacked “key internal controls” to safeguard millions of dollars in public money, according to an accounting firm hired by the city to examine the fund after a whistleblower’s allegations of lax oversight and wasteful spending.

In a summary of its findings released last month, the firm said bookkeeping for the fund had deviated so markedly from industry-standard accounting practices that it was “difficult to evaluate” whether money was being spent and tracked properly at the city-owned facility.

The firm of Macias Gini & O’Connell concluded that, for more definitive answers, Long Beach would need to initiate a broader evaluation of fund expenditures and the assets purchased, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in furniture for the convention center.

City officials, however, rejected the expansion, calling it unnecessary and too costly.

Instead, city staff have said they relied on their own observations and representations by the convention center’s private operator to conclude that purchases were appropriate, according to a review of public records and multiple interviews performed by the Long Beach Post.

Officials say controls over the fund have now been tightened.

The city’s decision to limit the scope of the inquiry drew criticism from the whistleblower who sparked the financial review. Paul Falzon, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center’s former finance director, said the move seemed designed to send the message that “there’s nothing to see here.”

Falzon is suing the convention center’s private operator, ASM Global, for wrongful termination, alleging he was pushed out of his job after repeatedly complaining that city rules for the fund were being violated and that unnecessary purchases were being made.

Among other failings, Falzon contended that ASM was complicit in a steady stream of unauthorized purchases orchestrated by Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO and President Steve Goodling.

Falzon alleged that Goodling, whose organization partners with the convention center to promote tourism and business travel in Long Beach, was tapping the publicly funded account to buy extravagant furniture, decorations and other trappings that the convention center operator didn’t want or need. Goodling has insisted he operated properly at all times.

The account in question, called the “$5 Parking Fund” because it’s fed by a portion of parking revenues collected at the convention center, has existed for decades, according to city staff, but they have been unable to find records of how it was created and for what purpose.

For at least 20 years, however, Long Beach has allowed the convention center operator to use the fund to pay for maintenance, furnishings, construction and other similar needs at the facility with the understanding that city staff must approve each project in advance.

Falzon said that trouble arose after ASM, the convention center’s private operator, allowed Goodling to start purchasing furniture and other fixtures for the convention center as he helped market the facility to potential clients. Goodling, Falzon alleges, began using the parking fund and “buying things willy-nilly” without the convention center’s knowledge or the required preapprovals.

Falzon said that, during his tenure as finance director, he estimated Goodling spent about $1.3 million in public funds on furniture, lighting fixtures and art. Many of the purchases, such as a set of $3,800 Italian leather chairs and a $500 marble floor lamp, were bought at a consignment store near Goodling’s home, according to over 100 pages of invoices and receipts reviewed by the Long Beach Post.

Dozens of hand-written receipts from Lido Gallery were among more than 130 pages of receipts and invoices the Post reviewed.

What’s more, Falzon said, ASM Global failed to properly track items after they were bought, leading to a situation in which the former finance director said he could not easily confirm whether the purchases Goodling billed to the parking fund were ever used by the convention center or even arrived.

“We had this practice of paying for stuff we didn’t even receive,” Falzon said. Other items, like giant stuffed animals, chaise lounges and crystal chandeliers, sat broken or unused in the convention center’s storage area, according to Falzon.

Long Beach froze the parking fund in late 2021 and, in April, hired the Macias Gini & O’Connell firm to audit the $3.5 million spent over the past five years. That included $604,008 paid to Goodling’s organization and at least $71,503 to the Lido Consignment shop near his home, according to a memo prepared by the firm for city officials and obtained by the Post.

The firm interviewed Falzon, his successor as finance director, and other convention center employees, including the then-general manager and facilities director, to understand how the parking fund was being utilized.

The convention center operator, ASM, confirmed that Goodling’s organization was buying items outside the normal budgeting or planning process, which allowed for “unauthorized purchases to occur” and go undetected until an invoice was submitted for reimbursement or the item arrived unexpectedly at the convention center, the accounting firm wrote.

To assess whether the purchases by Goodling and others were legitimate, the accounting firm settled on a sampling of $391,868.26 in transactions to scrutinize in detail. They planned to examine invoices, purchasing records and approval processes for each transaction before performing a physical inventory to ensure the items could be located.

The audit never got that far.

In a summary of its findings produced in July, the firm wrote that convention center operator ASM had no formal records tracking when individual items were purchased, where they were stored and whether they’d been sold or otherwise disposed of.

Instead, ASM tracked parking fund purchases with an Excel spreadsheet kept separate from its normal accounting system. When the firm’s auditors asked to see the invoices, receipts and other records justifying the expenditures, ASM produced “most of the requested documents” but the process was soon stymied by “a lack of adequate information.”

Because of the inadequate records, the firm informed Long Beach that its contracts with the city would have to be expanded beyond the original $40,060 agreement to complete the task up to audit standards, according to Deputy Economic Development Director Johnny Vallejo, the city employee overseeing the project.

Vallejo said the city considered paying for the more intensive “forensic inventory” required to continue looking for improprieties, but decided against it. He said it would have “dramatically” increased the cost of the undertaking. Vallejo said he could not provide an exact amount to the Long Beach Post because he did not request a formal quote.

Instead, he said, city staff performed their own review of ASM’s records and tested Falzon’s allegations of missing items by spot-checking 10 purchases to confirm their presence at the convention center.

Despite the lack of formal tracking, ASM did maintain invoices and other documentation to back up the validity of expenditures from the parking fund, according to Vallejo. Plus, he said, the auditing firm told the city that year-to-year balances recorded on Excel spreadsheets were mostly correct to within a few dollars.

“Generally, we have confidence that that stuff is accurate,” Vallejo said, adding that if any concerns arise in the future, Long Beach could rehire the accounting firm to complete a full-scale audit.

In late December—five months after the firm submitted its limited findings to the city—Long Beach released the results of the review with a list of suggested corrective actions. The documents included a pledge from ASM to bring its procedures and policies for the parking fund up to industry standards and create a formal tracking system for items it purchases with city money.

“ASM Global has already taken steps to implement the suggested improvements and commits to fully implementing the City’s plan in a timely manner,” the company assured the city in documents reviewed by the Post.

In light of the promises to tighten controls, Long Beach unfroze the parking fund, allowing purchases to resume.

Despite the accounting firm’s misgivings about ASM’s records, city officials said they concluded that all prior purchases “were consistent with the City’s broader long-term vision for the Center,” which it has praised as a key economic engine for the city. Officials attribute that success, in part, to their partnership with Goodling’s organization, according to a companion memo written by Economic Development Director Bo Martinez.

Goodling did not respond to messages sent Monday morning.

Falzon, for his part, continues to maintain that his core complaint—that items purchased by Goodling frequently went unused, arrived broken or were never delivered to the convention center—remains largely unexamined.

“The fraud,” he alleged, “is in the physical inventory.”

The action stems from allegations that the city’s top tourism official was spending tens of thousands of dollars in public funds on unnecessary furnishings for the facility without proper approvals.

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City management ends Long Beach Convention Center audit after changes

A review of discretionary spending at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center has prompted an updated contract and new oversight policies — but found no wrong-doing.Outside auditor Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP was hired last year to look into spending of the “$5 fund” at the center after complaints from the Convention Center’s former director of finance, Paul Falzon, who was fired in November 2021. Falzon has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against center operator SMG Holdings Inc., n...

A review of discretionary spending at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center has prompted an updated contract and new oversight policies — but found no wrong-doing.

Outside auditor Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP was hired last year to look into spending of the “$5 fund” at the center after complaints from the Convention Center’s former director of finance, Paul Falzon, who was fired in November 2021. Falzon has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against center operator SMG Holdings Inc., now ASM Global, and Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Steve Goodling.

Goodling declined to comment.

In the lawsuit, Falzon accuses Goodling of improperly buying furniture and fixtures for the Convention Center, associated theaters and meeting spaces, and the Pacific Ballroom, also known as the Long Beach Arena.

Goodling, who has led the CVB since 2001, has said purchases were part of the push to upgrade the Convention Center and have been critical to creating a special destination for conventioneers and companies. Officials for ASM Global have said Goodling has their full support in the process.

The review by MGO has been completed, according to a memo late last year to the mayor and City Council from City Manager Tom Modica’s office.

While the review was limited, the memo said, corrective action had been taken and the city had closed the audit.

At issue is the “$5 Fund,” a portion of parking revenue at the center set aside for furnishing, improvements, construction and maintenance. The review found that management of that fund is not part of the original management agreement, so controls for that fund were not specifically defined.

Goodling, in partnership with the Convention Center operators, used the fund to furnish theater lobbies and gathering spaces around the facility, decorate and provide activities at the plaza in front of the Terrace Theater and create a new space called The Cove off Seaside Way.

Falzon, in his lawsuit, accused Goodling of making extravagant purchases that did not follow proper procedures. Once he began complaining about the situation, Falzon said, he was fired.

The lawsuit remains active in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The next action is set for March 13, with a case management conference. Calls to Falzon’s attorneys, Barrera & Associates, were not returned.

In response to the review, a new management agreement has been signed with ASM Global, which includes better accounting procedures and new policies put in place for purchase decisions from the $5 Fund. ASM Global must also create a formal asset management system and conduct a complete inventory.

While the city retains approval rights for overall projects and programs, ASM Global remains responsible for all expenditures.

While proper accounting procedures had not been followed, the city memo said, there was documentation for $5 Fund purchases. The review firm, MGO, said more information would not be available unless a detailed audit was conducted; the city declined to extend the contract.

“Purchases from the $5 Fund were consistent with the City’s broader long-term vision for the Center to reposition itself as a unique venue in the Southern California marketplace,” said the memo, first reported by the Long Beach Post. “The growth and success of the Center, and its repeated recognition as an industry leader, is the result of the strong working relationship between the Contractor, City, and community partners like the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).”

While agreeing to make the procedural and accounting changes, ASM Global officials stood by the purpose and success of purchases using the $5 Fund.

ASM Global Executive Vice President Bob McClintock, in a statement, touted the Convention Center’s growth over the past dcade and the city’s investment in the facility; he also seemingly backed Goodling.

“The City of Long Beach can be proud of its reputation worldwide,” he said, “for the proven returns that, under the leadership of the CVB, the development of these one-of-a-kind event spaces has brought to the community and to the hospitality industry.”

Mustangs Head South This Week to Face Long Beach State and Fullerton

WEEKLY NOTES (PDF)SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Coming off a busy week last week in which they played three games, two of which were at home, the Cal Poly women's basketball team will hit the road this week in southern California for a pair of games.The Mustangs (5-11, 2-6 BW) will face Long Beach State Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by Cal State Fullerton Saturday at 6 p.m.Both games will be stream...

WEEKLY NOTES (PDF)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Coming off a busy week last week in which they played three games, two of which were at home, the Cal Poly women's basketball team will hit the road this week in southern California for a pair of games.

The Mustangs (5-11, 2-6 BW) will face Long Beach State Thursday at 7 p.m. followed by Cal State Fullerton Saturday at 6 p.m.

Both games will be streamed live on ESPN+. Links to that as well as live stats to follow can be found on the schedule page.

The Mustangs, who have already won more games this year than last season, will be seeing The Beach for the second and final time of the regular season when they tip things off on Thursday. Long Beach State won the first matchup earlier this season at Mott Athletics Center. This will be the first meeting this season with Cal State Fullerton.

There has already been plenty of improvement by the Mustangs this year under first year head coach Shanele Stires. During non-conference play, Cal Poly picked up three wins, matching its win total from all of last season. They have since collected two more wins during conference play to surpass its overall win total from last season and has already matched the two conference wins they had last year. They are doing this despite being hit by several injuries this year which led to only nine players being available in the last game against UC Davis.

It's been defense that has been the calling card for the Mustangs this season. In all five of Cal Poly's wins so far, the Mustangs have held opponents to 53 points or less.

Sophomore guard Annika Shah continues to lead the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game while also leading the team is assists at 2.6 per game. Shah also has two blocks for the season and, at 5'3, is the second shortest player in Division I to record a block this year. Only Oklahoma's Nevaeh Tot, who is 5'2, is shorter who has a block.

Following Saturday's game against the Titans, the Mustangs will host Blue-Green rival UCSB Thursday, Feb. 2 before traveling out to face Hawai'i on the island Saturday, Feb. 4.

Scouting LBSU: After starting out conference play 2-2, Long Beach State has won four games in a row to move up into a tie for second in the Big West standings. As a team, The Beach lead the Big West and rank seventh in the nation in steals at 12.6 per game, are second in scoring defense while leading the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 44 percent while also boasting the best turnover margin in the conference. Two of their players rank in the top seven in the Big West in scoring, led by guard Tori Harris' 13.4 per game.

Scouting Cal State Fullerton: The Titans head into the week having lost four of their last six. In their last game, they beat CSUN 70-67. As a team, they rank second in the conference in shooting from beyond the arc at 34 percent while leading it in free throw shooting at 76 percent. Senior guard Fujika Nimmo leads the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game, which ranks second in the Big West. She's had six games of scoring over 20 points this season.

Shah Leads The Scoring: Sophomore guard Annika Shah leads the Mustangs in scoring this season at 10.4 points per game. That's an improvement of more than six points more than what she averaged as a freshman last season, the biggest jump of anyone on the team. She's scored in double figures seven times, including over 20 twice and has led the team in scoring in seven of the 16 games so far.

Returning Mustangs: Despite losing two starters from last year, Cal Poly brings back plenty from last year's team. Two of the team's top three scorers are back this year.

Senior guard Maddie Willett returns after being second on the team in scoring last year at 8.9 ppg while leading the team in made threes and three point percentage.

Senior forward Julia Nielacna is also back after averaging 8.3 ppg last season while playing in 24 of 25 games and starting 11.

In addition to those two, there are five players back this season who played in at least 22 games last year.

New Stangs: Cal Poly added seven newcomers to this year's team, four freshmen and three Division I transfers. The three transfers consist of graduate student Nikola Kovacikova, graduate student Oumou Toure, and junior Taylor Wu.

Kovacikova comes to Cal Poly after previously playing at both Penn and Georgetown. Last season at Penn, she played in 19 games with eight starts. Off the court, she earned Penn's Norman J. Goldring Prize and George H. Frazier Prize which is given to a senior female student-athlete with the highest GPA. She spent her first two collegiate seasons at Georgetown. As a sophomore in 2019-20, she appeared in 27 games with 12 starts and was the Hoyas' third-leading scorer, averaging 7.9 ppg.

Toure comes to Cal Poly after having spent the last three years at Butler. She played her freshman season before missing the next two due to injury and the COVID pandemic. As a freshman in 2019-20, she was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team. That season, she appeared in 27 games, making 20 starts and ranked second on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field to go along with 6.1 rebounds per game. She also led the Big East and ranked 45th in the NCAA in steals per game at 2.33.

Wu spent the last three seasons at California Baptist University where she played in 70 career games. She made her mark as a freshman in 2019-20, averaging 6.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.7 apg in 18.4 minutes per game. She broke the program's freshman single game scoring record after dropping 37 points against Ottawa (AZ) and in the same game broke the program record for threes made in a game with 10.

As a sophomore, she started 19 of 27 games, averaging 8.9 ppg, 1.7 apg, and 21.9 minutes per game. She scored in double figures 11 times including a season-high 15 against Pepperdine.

Alpine Village swap meet to close permanently in February

Vendors at the Alpine Village swap meet are dismayed after being notified that the market will permanently close as of Feb. 23.The official notice came in the form of a letter on Saturday, Jan. 21, and a short note on the Alpine Village website: “Swap Meet will remain open through February 22, 2023 (permanently closed starting Feb 23, 2023).”Information regarding what led up to the closure has been limited, and vendors say they’ve been ignored.Initially, ...

Vendors at the Alpine Village swap meet are dismayed after being notified that the market will permanently close as of Feb. 23.

The official notice came in the form of a letter on Saturday, Jan. 21, and a short note on the Alpine Village website: “Swap Meet will remain open through February 22, 2023 (permanently closed starting Feb 23, 2023).”

Information regarding what led up to the closure has been limited, and vendors say they’ve been ignored.

Initially, vendors were told on Dec. 27 that the swap meet, at 833 W. Torrance Blvd., would be closed for the last two weeks of January and that it may not reopen again in February. In response, they organized two protests where hundreds of vendors and their families marched outside of the historic Alpine Village demanding answers from the board of directors in charge of the site’s operations.

Protestors chant, “El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido,” meaning, “The people united will never be defeated,” in front of Alpine Village swap meet on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. Photo by Laura Anaya-Morga.

On Jan. 10, dozens more attended the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting to urge county officials to help them.

“Many of these small and family-owned businesses have been operating at this historic landmark for over 30 years and have been given less than two weeks to find a new place to keep their doors open,” said Supervisor Holly Mitchell in a statement shortly after the meeting. “Although this is a private sale outside of the County’s purview, my office is currently working to see what can be done to provide more time and support to our constituents that are impacted.”

Details on a potential sale have not been confirmed, and Alpine Village officials and their lawyers have not responded to multiple requests for comment from the Post over the past three weeks.

“Just because you work in a swap meet doesn’t mean you have no value, Esthela Nevarez previously told the Post. She has been a vendor at the swap meet selling snacks, drinks and candies for nearly 17 years. Following the recent deaths of her two sons, the friends, colleagues and customers that she met at Alpine Village helped her through her grief.

After receiving the initial notice, the vendors were told the swap meet would remain open until Sunday, Jan. 22, but the swap meet’s longer term future remained unclear until they received notice of the official closure last week.

“It makes me angry, it makes me sad the way they are doing it. This is affecting us psychologically,” Nevarez on Monday. “They should have told us this from the beginning.”

The historic Alpine Village, a Bavarian-themed shopping center, has been around since 1968 and is home to various shops, a deli, a bakery and the popular swap meet, which is open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many vendors are there every day selling snacks, clothes, tools and more, making just enough money to pay their bills.

Over the years, the village faced economic hardships, including in February 2020, when it closed its restaurant and bar. A few months later, it was designated a historic landmark by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, protecting its shopping center from being sold or redeveloped.

The designation, however, did not cover the parking lot where the swap meet currently stands—Alpine Village officials said that the parking lot did not have any exceptional importance to the history of the space. In January 2020, the Daily Breeze reported that, “Most of the 14-acre site — an undulating parking lot built atop a former garbage dump — will be sold and redeveloped, likely as an industrial property.”

At the time, there was speculation that the Long Beach-based development company Pacific Industrial was in escrow to acquire the land but, as the Daily Breeze reported this week, it’s unclear whether the sale ever went through.

Now, vendors like Nevarez are left scrambling to figure out what’s next.

“They did not do things the way they should have been done,” she said. “Apart from being a mockery, because that’s how I look at it, this has been exhausting.”

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