Waco Downtown Farmers Market celebrates its 10-year anniversary

The farmers market has been running in Waco every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. since 2011. Saturday marked its 10-year anniversary. Photo by Emma Weidmann | Intern

By Emma Weidmann | Intern

On Saturday, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market celebrated 10 years of operation. The farmers market has been running in Waco every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. since 2011. The 10th-anniversary market included live music from Ryan Pickop & Jared Himstedt, Smooth Nature, Isis Lee and the Fox and the Crow, providing a folksy soundtrack to the fall morning.

The Waco Downtown Farmers Market describes itself as “an integral part of our community … a unique platform for farmers, artists and food entrepreneurs to springboard their business and connect with consumers,” according to a brochure given out at the market.

For 10 years, families and friends have been flocking to the farmers market each Saturday morning, drawn by the unique atmosphere and eager to get a taste of the Waco experience.

More than 60 vendors within 150 miles of Waco come to the farmers market to sell a variety of produce and crafts — anything from raw honey, artisan bread, meat, or crafts like handmade beaded jewelry or candles. Some vendors also offer products derived from hemp, as well as goat milk soaps. Many of these artisans have been creating and selling in Waco for years.

“We’ve been vending here for about three years,” Don’t Eat Beads owner Danielle Hale said.

“I’ve been doing this for about 15 years. I’ve always been somewhat creative, but what really got me into jewelry design was when my mom lost a ring that she really loved, and I could replace it by purchasing one, which would have been $700. Instead, I ended up learning how to make one and grew from there,” Hale said.

The Candle Shop owner Deborah Moberg said her business has been selling as a vendor at the farmers market for about two years, but she has been making candles for more than two decades.

“I started my business when I was about 17 and lived in Austin,” Moberg said.

Her business has found its home in Waco after she rediscovered her craft following the 2008 recession.

“I got married, had my first baby and just dropped the whole thing for a while,” Moberg said. “Then back in 2009, right after the recession, I got back into it again. I said, ‘You know, I want to start a candle business,’ and that’s what I did.”

Aside from the variety of products, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market also provides a unique experience for many Baylor students, especially those from outside the United States. The community-based, homegrown and artisan flair is a slice of American culture unlike anything seen abroad.

São Paulo, Brazil freshman Catharina Park dos Santos said she enjoyed the small-town feeling of the Waco Downtown Farmers Market.

“Coming from a really big city, you usually don’t get experiences where people know one another and have a Saturday morning tradition and are able to sell their own things,” Park dos Santos said. “People were selling things made from goat’s milk, which is not something you usually see around, especially if it’s homemade. There are a lot of handmade things, you just don’t see them being sold in such a cute, small-town way.”