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Farms & Families
There is no doubt that the Cape Riverfront Market is known for its produce, but the names you see behind the veggies and fruit are the ones who really steal the show.

This week I spoke with Chasity Menard who is a vendor for Menard Farms every Saturday at the Cape Riverfront Market. Although Menard Farms has only been in business for 6 years, these “new kids on the block” pack one heck of a punch. I asked Chasity how the Menard family got started here in Southern Missouri, and within in a few minutes, I came to discover that Chasity set out to help her brother’s dream of farming come to life. Chasity explained that “there are no farmers in our family besides my brother Lance, and after receiving his college degree, he made the leap and started his career as a first-generation farmer.” While his business grew, so did his family’s involvement with the farm. As someone with no prior experience in agriculture, I asked Chasity what motivated her to help her brother, and her response was modest. “I am such a people person, and he just… is not, so I’m his sales person,” she said with a laugh. So, among Chasity, Lance, and their Grandma, the farm is picked, planted, and sold.
What do they bring do the table you might ask? Well, their best-selling sweetcorn, tomatoes, and gorgeous sunflowers go fast every week, and don’t get me started on how quickly their farm fresh eggs sell. Stop by their produce stand out in Saint Mary’s Missouri when in dire need, or find them here at home at the Cape Riverfront Market every Saturday. Come grow with Chasity while she learns the life of the farm, and embrace what it is to eat and grow local in the environment that she loves.


Another staple produce vendor at the Cape Riverfront Market, Pearson Farms, has been a guest favorite summer after summer, selling through their juicy cherry tomatoes faster than wildfire burns through a forest. Along with their cherry tomatoes being a huge hit, the next to come is their highly anticipated fresh watermelon, which vendor, Matt or Sparkplug as he’s known among the other market vendors, said “should be out for the picking by the middle of July.”
Matt has been helping to maintain a family-run farm that has been in operation for 30 years with the help of his dad, grandpa, and uncles, and he’s ready for his next business venture, which he said is going to be a produce stand located between Anna, Illinois and Cobdon, Illinois (1310 Old Highway 51, Old Basler Block Plant).
Between raising a family, maintaining a farm, and working a second full time job at Tiny Mights Construction, Matt keeps himself more than busy, but his love for his two girls and wonderful wife Jessica remains obvious. From now until the end of October, you can find this sweet family at the Cape Riverfront Market.
If you’re in the market for fresh produce, the Cape Riverfront Market has the vendors to supply your needs. Stop by and shop local with the Pearson Family and the Menards every Saturday through the end of October!
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