Since the debut of the Westchase District Farmers Market in October 2013, more than 2,500 visitors browsed our vendors’ booths, supported local growers and helped to establish a wonderful new community gathering in West Houston.
“I’ve been so pleased with the response we’ve received so far,” said John Carey, Westchase District Farmers Market manager. “Even though it rained the morning of our second week and we only had half of our regular vendors make it in, we earned almost as much money as we did in our first week of business.”
More than fresh fruits and veggies
That bustling business involves more than selling just boxes of fresh, local produce. The market offers many value added products as well.
“We have vendors selling BBQ sauces, lotions, candles, lavender products, dog treats, orchids, olive oils and even prepared foods,” he said. “Our market experience is not merely like browsing an outdoor grocery store. It’s a perfect destination for unique gifts as well. Plus, we have some of the friendliest vendors in town.”
Never the same market twice
Carey noted that even though many vendors have a regular presence each week, the products they sell often vary based on the seasons.
“If you think you know what products we sell, think again, because our inventory is different every week,” Carey added. “There’s no telling how quickly we’ll sell out of certain items.”
Hot harvests on the horizon
With that in mind, Carey gave a top 10 list of what items he expects vendors will have an abundant supply of in the next three months:
- Cabbages, both green and red
- Clementines, oranges and tangerines
- Papaya and pears
- Sweet potatoes
“We pass out different recipe cards at each market, and you can bet we’ll be suggesting delicious ways to make the most out of what ingredients are in season,” he said.
It takes a village to run a market
Carey said public support of the market has been great, and that he will gladly welcome more volunteer assistance with:
- Placing and collecting temporary signage
- Greeting shoppers upon entrance
- Unloading and reloading vendor’s products
- Refilling the market’s drinking water station
“I’m not looking for long-term commitments for these tasks. I’m happy to create a flexible schedule for all who are willing to donate even a small portion of their time,” he said. “We want our market to be a fun and relaxing experience for folks on both sides of the counters.”