Farmers Market in the Park attracts a crowd

Organic produce? Check. Coffee and juice? Check. Live music, yoga classes and children’s activities? Check, check and check.

After several months in the planning stages, the new Farmers Market in the Park has marked off all these boxes while hitting its stride during its first summer in Arnolds Park.

Founded by Krissy Thiessen, co-owner of Cherry Lane Farm, the market’s goal is to provide a fun, event-based atmosphere while retaining all the qualities of a traditional farmers market.

Vendors are lined up starting at 7:30 a.m. every Saturday morning on Lake Street between Arnolds Park Amusement Park and Queen’s Court and they offer everything from fruits and vegetables to desserts, woodwork, home decor and much more.

Q: How did this idea for Farmers Market in the Park get started?

A: Well, ever since Calvin [Krissy’s husband] and I started the farm we have thought about starting a new market that was similar to the Des Moines market. We reached out to Arnolds Park last September and they were super excited and supportive. I pulled in our board (Tracy Evans, Dalton Kidd, Amanda Shaffer and Tresa Hussong) this winter. Tracy Evans had been wanting to start one too so we really synced up well.

Q: What were the aspects of the Des Moines market that you enjoyed and thought would fit here?

A: We loved the idea of more of an event-based market. Somewhere where you could come and spend the morning. Having kids activities, live music and workout classes were something we particularly loved. Adding excellent quality vendors in to that mix was a huge part of our vision as well. We tried to get as many local vendors as we could and we did reach out a little further for some people. We have a mushroom guy from Sioux Falls coming a couple of times, so I think the uniqueness of some of the vendors is a draw for people.

Q: What made the park the ideal location for the new market?

A: The park is the best location because it’s somewhere that everyone of all ages loves. Its beautiful, timeless and in a location you can walk, bike, drive or boat up to. You have so much organic traffic down there already and we wanted to be able to capitalize on that and give people even more to do.

Q: Now that the market is underway, how are things going and what has the response been like?

A: The response was far beyond what we expected! We have had, on average, about 2,500 people each week. We get thanked all the time for starting the market and for having something for everyone at the market. The vendors have been doing really well and are excited to be there. As a vendor myself, I can say I truly enjoy selling at this market. It’s such a fun environment and it’s been beneficial for our business.

Q: Are there any things as we enter the last month of summer that you’d like to highlight or make sure people know about?

A: I would say for August we are having some really awesome live music, even more incredible vendors, more produce and will have hit our stride for summer.

Q: Any other highlights you’d want to share about the market to date?

A: Our sponsors have been amazing! We have had a lot of people believe in us and this market before we even got started and are so grateful for that!

Q: What does the future hold for Farmers Market in the Park? What would you like to see going forward?

A: The future is exciting because we can make it into whatever we want! Right now, we are getting more vendor applications in so the market is definitely going to continue to grow in size. We are having more interactive guests contact us as well. It will be fun to see how we can incorporate them into the market as well. We want to stay a true farmers market but I think adding some activities is only a plus.