Harry Nicholas retirement
Harry Nicholas is presented with honors by Beverly Hills Mayor Julian Gold and is flanked by Nicholas’ daughters, Toni and Charlene – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – Harry Nicholas, who has been a presence at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market for 16 years has retired.  He said at 93 years old, it’s probabaly a good time.

Harry Nicholas Farms is a longtime vendor at the popular weekend market in downtown Beverly Hills.

“We’re really going to miss him,” said Greta Dunlap, manager of the Beverly Hills Farmers Market.  “He just came up to me one day and said ‘I need to be in your farmers market.’ He’s been a favorite here ever since.”

Nicholas is known for his bright smile and wild hats, notoriously a purple hat with a cougar-style band around it.

Harry Nicholas Farms sells a range of fruit, but mainly focuses on grapes.

Harry Nicholas retires by Donna Balancia
Beverly Hills Mayor Julian Gold and Farmers Market Manager Greta Dunlap honor Harry Nicholas upon the popular vendor’s retirement – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Dunlap and some of her coworkers made a little party for Nicholas, and set up a banner that customers and friends could sign.

Mayor Julian Gold was on hand to present Harry with a certificate from the city.

“You’ve brought a lot of smiles and happiness to our market,” Gold said. “You will be missed.”

Ron Saseila, who makes a line of wines, presented Harry with two bottles from the line he created with Harry Nicholas grapes.

“He’s such a good guy,” Saseila said. “When I moved here a few years ago he was one of my first friends.”

Harry Nicholas retirement by Donna Balancia
Ron Saseila presents vendor Harry Nicholas with wines he made out of Nicholas Farms grapes – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Armenian by birth, Nicholas’ family emigrated to the U.S. when he was a baby.  He attended school in Northern California.

In World War II, Nicholas was on a PT boat in the Navy, something he is proud of.

Also on hand on Nicholas’ last Saturday at the market were friends, customers and his two daughters, Toni and Charlene.