Grapevine Farmers Market offers fresh fare and old-fashioned friendship

Posted Monday, Jul. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Grapevine Farmers Market Where: 325 S. Main St. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Saturday

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When Racquel and Jack Morehead look around the bustling Grapevine Farmers Market, they see a lot more than fresh fruits and vegetables.

They see family.

Racquel Morehead, who with her husband has managed the decades old open air market since 2009, said her expertise is derived from “generations and generations and generations” of family who worked as farmers, ranchers and even roadside peddlers of edible goodies.

“It’s all we’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s in our blood.”

The appeal of a farmers market is quality, Racquel said.

“It’s completely different than a grocery store. You can taste the freshness and sweetness. It’s the farmers market experience,” she said.

Unlike food that travels from warehouse to market, the farmers market fare is sampled fresh by the staff before it goes on the stand.

“We check the quality before it goes out,” she said.” We make sure there’s nothing bad.”

And the Moreheads pride themselves on good customer service.

“We can tell you where it came from and even how to use it in a recipe,” Racquel said.

Another bonus is the opportunity to go directly to the source.

“Many times you can talk to the farmers and growers themselves,” she said.

The vendors say everyone helps one another, whether it is loading and unloading trucks or passing along growing tips.

Chris Demases is a fourth-generation grower at the 60-acre Demases Farm-Fresh Produce business in Boyd, about 30 miles west of Grapevine.

He brings cantaloupes, cucumbers, kale, new potatoes, okra, onions, peas, five varieties of squash, tomatoes and watermelon to the Grapevine Farmers Market.

The farmers market connection has been a boost to sales from the farm.

“It’s been great for us,” he said.

Bill and Dee Scalzo come from Euless to find not only fresh, but rare items.

“This is the only place we’ve been able to find Israel melons,” Dee Scalzo said. “You pay good money but you get what you pay for.”

Although her feet sometimes ache at the end of a day, Racquel Morehead said it’s fulfilling to be part of such a positive environment.

“We all love one another and our customers,” she said. “We’re a family. That’s what I love about the farmers market.”

Market standards include salsa, tamales, beef jerky, ice pops, olive oils, vinegars and raw unfiltered honey. Most of it is locally produced. A current popular item is East Texas tomatoes, and greens are always a favorite. This year, they’ve added popcorn, which comes in flavors including cinnamon roll and jalapeno.

Gayle Hall, director of festivals and events for the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the market has been around for several decades, but has seen a surge in popularity in recent years.

“It still gives you the small town community feel,” she said.

The Moreheads’ history has a quality as sweet as their strawberries. Both come from families that have long drawn their livelihood from the earth.

Jack Morehead’s father, also named Jack, operates an organic farm in California.

Sugar Acres: The Pilgrim Family Farm, located in Maybank near Canton, is owned and cared for by Morgan and Jodi Pilgrim, Racquel Morehead’s parents.

Racquel and Jack met at her father’s indoor fruit market when Jack started working there at 14. When Racquel turned 14, they started dating, and were married three years later. The couple has been married for 22 years.

Throughout their partnership, they have owned or worked at farmers markets and related businesses.

When the city of Grapevine contacted them about working for the local farmers market, Racquel Morehead said they were quick to accept.

“We felt very honored,” she said. “Grapevine has a rich history in the produce business.”

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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