Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Freight House Farmers' Market

The Freight House Farmers’ Market is a farmers’ market based out of Davenport, IA. Located directly next to Modern Woodmen Park, it hosts a large number of local businesses with enough variety for any person to enjoy.  Some of the most well-known vendors include fresh produce, freshly made baked items, homemade decorations, and hot food vendors.
“The versatility (is what keeps people coming back),“ says Cloe Pethoud, a member of the family that runs Barb’s Garden and Pantry.  “You can go to six different fruit vendors, three different bakery vendors, and pick different ones every week.”
Barb’s Garden and Pantry specializes in baked goods and is also one of the most popular stands at the farmers’ market. They specialize in breads, donuts, and jams. In addition to Freight House, they have an actual storefront set up in Eldridge, IA.
The locality of Freight House is another factor that keeps customers coming back.  Like Barb’s Garden and Pantry, most of the vendors have actual storefronts set up throughout the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.  The fact that nearly everything is homegrown or handmade is a big draw for repeat customers.
“Everything is supposed to be made by the vendors,” says Brad Moore, part of the husband and wife duo behind Cottage Collection. “It’s all our own designs and we bring new things all the time, so we get a lot of repeat customers.”
Cottage Collections is focused on homemade crafts, which can be anything from lawn decorations to wall-hangings.  Many customers aren’t even aware that there are craft vendors at Freight House, much less the amount that preside there. However, once customers discover the craft vendors, they keep coming back.
One of the other large draws of the farmers’ market is the hot food stands.  While customers are looking for items or food that they can bring home, they can munch on food made directly in front of them at the market.  Many of these hot food vendors also have their own stores.  One of the most prominent of these is Meatheads Meat Market, which is based out of Milan, IL.
“We love the farmers’ market, it’s been great to us,” says Lisa Schafman, who was working at the Meatheads set up.  “When we come, we bring out seventy kinds of handmade, homemade brats and about forty different smoked items.”
Meatheads offers spicy, sweet, and savory brats. Some of these include jalapeño popper, Philly cheesesteak, mac n’ cheese (referred to as the “gateway brat” by Schafman), skittles, and gummy bears.
Of course, one of the biggest draws to the Freight House is the fresh produce that is available.  One of the most popular produce vendors is Huizenga Farms.  Huizenga’s is run by a family of seventh-generation vegetable farmers from Holland.  Their farm is now based out of Henderson, IL.
“I think now (buying fresh produce) is coming back because people want to eat healthy and they’re concerned about their well-being,” says Seth Huizenga, who runs the farm along with his brother and father.
Huizenga also says that he thinks that part of the fun of the Freight House is how personable it is.
“The nostalgia behind (coming to a farmers’ market) is that it’s how people used to shop.  I think it’s just fun,” says Huizenga.  “It’s not Walmart, it’s not HyVee.  You get to meet the grower, you get to see where the food comes from.”
Overall, the variety and personability of the Farmers’ Market is what keeps customers coming back to Freight House Farmer’s Market.
“We make all of our own stuff, the produce vendors have all their own fruits and vegetables,” says Schafman.  “There’s a diverse offering.  Everything from meats and produce to food trucks to furniture to jewelry . . . It has a little bit of everything.”
Freight House Farmer’s Market is open Saturdays 8:00-1:00, Sundays 10:00-2:00, and Tuesdays 3:00-6:00 pm.  It is located at 421 W River Dr, Davenport, IA 52801.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Freight House Farmers' Market