Farmers market growing in popularity; vendors sell out of produce

Annetta Graber, left, discusses her family’s Big Dena tomatoes with Joan Lewis, of Richmond, at the Richmond Farmers Market Saturday morning on the Richmond Square. The farmers market is open from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday. (Photo by Leah Wankum/Richmond News)

By Leah Wankum, Editor

The Richmond Farmers Market is gaining popularity among vendors and consumers alike.

In fact, some people came to the market Saturday morning because they already ran out of produce they purchased at neighboring farmers markets. Customers provide a steady stream of business during the market hours, 7 a.m. to noon, although several of them show up right at the beginning to choose from the best selections.

And it’s not uncommon for vendors in Richmond to run out of produce before 10 a.m.

Take the Grabers’ tomatoes, for instance. In the family’s second year of bringing greenhouse-grown Big Dena tomatoes to the farmers market, Keith Graber and his family often sell out of their produce well before noon. In fact, when the Grabers showed up at 7 a.m. to start selling their tomatoes, customers were already waiting.

“I think it’s doing well,” Graber said of their tomato business, adding that he’s seen growth at the Richmond Farmers Market as well. “I’m kind of excited about it.”

The tomatoes are so popular that Mike Kelley of Excelsior Springs came all the way into Richmond just to pick up a few.

“Ours is on Wednesdays, and I’m out of tomatoes,” Kelley said, adding that he often shops at farmers markets in and around Excelsior Springs, including Richmond.

Kay Goring, another customer, said she loves tomatoes.

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