Farmers Market Opens in Downtown Houston; Heights Market Celebrates One Year

With the open air environments, farm-fresh foods and artisan products, farmers markets are perhaps more attractive than ever to Houston shoppers. Downtown Houston now has a new Sunday farmers market inside of Bravery Chef Hall at 409 Travis, while another, Heights Mercantile Farmers Market at 714 Yale is celebrating its first year of business on Sunday, September 27 with a socially distanced party. 

Camille Pose of Fresh Cut shows off her garden plants, photo by Staci Davis

Bravery Chef Hall Farmers Market

Bravery Chef Hall already showcases several of Houston’s most beloved chefs under one roof. Now, it’s upping the ante with a Sunday farmer’s market. Since the Wednesday City Hall farmer’s market closed (at least temporarily), until now there has been no place for downtown residents to meet and shop with local vendors. That’s why chef Martin Weaver — of the Watever Fresh booth in the chef hall — and Eliana Rodriguez started market. This new downtown farmers market debuted on Sunday, September 6 with free popcorn and cotton candy, a photo booth and live music.

“We wanted to reinvigorate downtown, and support the people that live in high rises as well as vendors”, said Weaver. Though he’s still looking to add more, the variety of vendors already shows promise.  Fresh vegetable vendors include Plant it Forward (which was featured on the Houston episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown series) and Animal Farm. Cherry Block Craft Butcher is selling meats, including beef, lamb chops and sausages from Falcon Lake Farms, Hive Bee Farm is selling locally harvested honey, and Missy Bosch Studio features handcrafted items like earrings and little stash boxes disguised as books. 

Any bumper crops left over from the market are likely to be pickled by Weaver and sold the next week at his Watever Fresh booth. Also of interest are first-time vendors such as Fresh Cut, which carries a good variety of exotic garden plants like finger limes and Espelette pepper.

This market is in its infancy, so look forward to the new products being added like tamales from Arlene Morales and Miss Mini Donuts. Bravery Chef Hall Market runs every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come hungry, because all of the food stands will be open and serving.

Shoppers masking up at the Heights Mercantile Farmer’s Market, photo by Casey Barblles

Heights Mercantile Farmers Market 1st Anniversary Celebration

On Sunday, September 27, in addition to shopping from over 35 local farmers, ranchers, chefs and bakers, folks can dunk their favorite local chefs in a dunking booth to raise funds for I’ll Have What She’s Having (IHWSH). The local organization focuses on women’s health issues, including lack of access to care by those who are uninsured. Some of the chefs stepping up to get soaked in the name of charity include: Tony Luhrman (El Topo), Monica Pope (Sparrow Cookshop) and Erin Smith (Feges BBQ). Plus, DJ Chaney will liven up the atmosphere, spinning tunes from the roof of his retro-themed party van, The Chaney Machine.

Monica Pope volunteers to get dunked for a good cause. Photo by Nguyet Vo

The market features organic produce from vendors such as Sustainable Harvesters and Wood Duck Farmgrass-fed meats from Bedias Creek Farms and RC Ranch, pasture-raised poultry and eggs from Driftwood Meadows and  Rise and Shine Farms, vibrant flowers from Cut Leaf Blooms and Addy’s Flower Farm and honey from Bee2bee Honey. The market also carries fresh pasta, prepared foods, Ayurvedic teas, bread and much more. 

Owner and operator Casey Barbles earned a Master in Clinical and Functional Nutrition after combating multiple debilitating syndromes. In time, that led to opening the Heights Mercantile Farmers Market. “I still pinch myself at the success the market has made in such a short time, especially during a time when small businesses desperately need our support,” says Barbles. The market has expanded along 7th Street and is working with the City of Houston to make it a “Safe Street” to allow greater walkability and safety for shoppers.

Heights Mercantile Farmers Market is open every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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