A new farmers market is coming to Hollister.
On Feb. 13, the State of the Ozarks Hollister Farmers Market held its first vendors meeting at the Hollister Railroad Depot. At the meeting, vendors learned the details behind the new market and were introduced to their market managers, State of the Ozarks Editor-in Chief Joshua Heston and Publisher Dale Grubaugh.
In 2019, Heston and Grubaugh managed the Farmers Market of the Ozarks market at Branson Landing.
Once the 2019 Branson market season had ended, Heston said, the city of Hollister reached out to them to see if State of the Ozarks would be interested in hosting their own Hollister-centered farmers market at the site of the former Culligan Water Plant on Chad Lane.
“True to form, (Hollister) city administration just went above and beyond in supporting this process. The Chad Lane property is city property,” said Heston. “The city does appear to be using the farmers market as a launching point to make that property a multi-use event location, and they’re investing in updates to that property that have exceeded anything that we could have asked for. They are working hand-in-hand, not only with us, but they’re working hand-in-hand with our vendors.”
For those who have never attended or been a part of a farmers market, Grubaugh said he ensures their market will have something for everybody.
“Our intent is to provide quality food for our community, to bring the community together and to help the community out,” said Grubaugh.
“The offerings for such will change as the season progresses, but we’ll have things like fresh produce, greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and squash. Then, of course, when the season comes around, watermelon, cantaloupes and then pumpkins. We’ll have peaches. We’ll have apples. We should have strawberries, blackberries and those kinds of produce.”
Additional market offerings will include items like artisan breads, pies, cookies, canned goods and lots of fresh meat.
“The wagyu beef people will be here, and they have some of the best beef that you’ll ever put in your mouth,” Grubaugh said. “You’re going to find things like homemade soaps.
“You’ll find prepared foods that you can take and eat or sit down right there and eat, like barbecue and stuff like that.”
Heston said it’s incredibly important to both him and Grubaugh that the Hollister Farmers Market becomes a food hub for the area’s at-risk community members.
“We have a number of low-income neighborhoods that are all in downtown,” said Heston. “A big part of what is driving me is to communicate to our at-risk communities to know, first of all, that we have good available foods, and second of all, that they are welcome.
“This is Hollister. This is State of the Ozarks. Dale and I are not trendy, and we are not classists. Dale and I have both worked with or been in low-income situations ourselves over the years. This is something that we want the market to be. We want the market not just to be a community hub. But we want the market to be a safe hub for anyone, but especially families who are in low-income or at-risk situations.”
As a growing number of farmers markets are now accepting EBT Cards, Grubaugh said they are currently working to get their own EBT processor to accommodate those in the EBT program.
In true State of the Ozarks fashion, the market, on the last week of each month, will also include an artisans fair.
“So we’ve already got a number of artisans that are in. It’s going to be market as usual, plus we’re going to have our artisan vendors,” said Heston. “A farmers market needs to be about 80% food and about 20% other, and that needs to be consistent. But we are very excited that … we can have high quality craftsmanship and fine arts included, and some great food.”
Vendor options for the 2020 Hollister Farmers Market include a $300 Season Pass, a $90 Six-Week Seasonal Grower Pass, a $90 Six-Week Artisan Fair Pass and a $25 Single Market Day Fee.
Weather permitting, the market will be open every Tuesday from 3 until 7 p.m. starting on April 7 and running through Sept. 29.
Market announcements can be found on the Hollister Farmers Market page on Facebook.
Vendor application’s and additional market information can all be found on stateoftheozarks.net.