Keeping our vendors close

DSC08489 (300x225)GreenAcres Market is located in three Midwestern states and now we can take advantage of local products in five cities and surrounding towns. We tend to like it that way. We get to know the farmers and growers, the manufacturers and the producers. We can barrel down the highways in between Kansas City and Wichita and Wichita and Oklahoma City, Lawton and Stillwater, picking up products, stocking our shelves, introducing customers to things made in and near their own home towns. How good is that?!

GreenAcres has been introduced to some of these home-grown products through our summer Farmers Markets. The companies naturally start small and can grow tremendously, seemingly overnight. Once customers like what they taste and see, a miracle can happen, and a company can really take off.

DSC08501 (250x188)Take Little Bits, a great little low-cal cookie made with all natural ingredients and spices that set  tongues a’tingling.  Greg Cole is the sole proprietor who bakes his cookies on a daily basis in his own home kitchen. So popular has Little Bits become, Greg has his cookies in all eight GreenAcres Markets and in about 20 other stores besides. Greg is going big time, and he started right in our flagship store’s parking lot, under a tent, just like the other farmers with their produce and products.  In fact, Greg is such a natural organizer and leader, he now manages the Farmer’s Market at our Bradley Fair store from May to September. That little market has grown from 25 to 140 vendors and promises to become one of the largest markets in Wichita, KS.

DSC08502 (250x201)Not all home-grown businesses get their start in the parking lot. Take Delano Bakery for example, nestled in the heart of what is called Wichita’s Delano District at Douglas to South Seneca.  For nearly a quarter of a century, the Dumford family has followed Wichita’s traditions of baking the freshest and highest quality breads such as Ciabatta, Focaccia, Stone Hearth-baked Rustic breads, and a variety of rolls. Our customers appreciate homemade bread, and especially buy up the raisin bread which is “not too sweet,” as one fan says.

Another great product that doesn’t sit long on our shelves is El Zarape salsa which comes in mild, medium and hot. If you go to its website, you can read the story: Phyllis and Manuel Garcia, Sr., started the company in the late 60s, not knowing anything about financing or business…just having a dream, a dream of becoming entrepreneurs.

DSC08495 (250x182)As other start-ups, El Zarape started in the Garcia kitchen. The Mexican community had not yet migrated to Garden City, but Phyllis and Manuel knew the Kansas palate was ready for hearty, Mexican cooking.  El Zarape was the first Mexican restaurant to open in the area. And while the senior Garcias are now gone, their great grandchildren proudly carry on the family business, distributing the tangy salsa throughout Kansas.

Have you tasted our demoed products from the Mediterranean Market and Café? If not, you’re in for a treat. Mediterranean Market comes to us from Lawrence, KS and has what we consider some of the best hummus, falafel and tzatziki around.

We know you’ve tried our MarCon pies—we can’t order them fast enough: Blueberry, Cherry, Carmel Apple, Raisin, Pecan…too many to list. The Strawberry Rhubarb has quite a following.  We love these pies, and they come fresh out of the oven, homemade to our doors from Washington, KS.

DSC08503 (250x173)Our Wichita customers are familiar with Cheney Lake Tomatoes. If you can’t grow your own, these tomatoes are the next best thing. Through the years, we’ve added Cheney Lake lettuce, kale, spinach and more to our produce shelves. There’s just something so tasty and so nutritious that happens when a local vendor can harvest produce in the morning and deliver it in the afternoon.

So, now that we’ve introduced you to some of our home-grown products, we’d like to know what you think. Drop into any of our GreenAcres Markets and ask our market team to point out what’s grown in your neck of the woods. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, just as we were when we first discovered them!

A partial list of our local vendors:

  • Farmhouse Cheese from Wiebe Dairy
  • Hildebrand Milk
  • Duck Egg Farm
  • Scotts Kansas Quail
  • Ducken Farm Eggs
  • Three Acres Ranch Eggs
  • Crabby Cat Kombucha
  • From Seed to You microgreens
  • Kan-Grow Sprouts
  • Holmes-Made Salsa
  • Randy Hamill, High Plains and Fowler honeys
  • Lucky Star Farm beef and pork
  • Steve’s Jams and Jellies
  • Zum Bar Soap

  DSC08497 (250x188)