When Casey Barbles launched Heights Mercantile Farmers Market in 2019 after overcoming several debilitating and life-threatening health issues, she modestly assumed it would be a once a month, maybe forever, farmers market. Two years later, the woman with a master’s degree in clinical and functional nutrition found herself at the helm of a booming market.
At present, the accidental entrepreneur has seven markets under his umbrella with plans for expansion. Next stop is an artisans market at Bader Ranch in October during the Round Top Fall Antiques Show.
On this Thursday evening in midsummer, we find Barbles in the patio of Cantine Da Gama while Barbles’ MKT Sunset Market was just getting started and 35 merchants displayed their wares on the lawn between The Heights hike and cycle path and the back of the fabulously contemporary new development. Cooks Evelyne Garcia and Jane wilde had set up stalls next to vendors selling crafts, clothing, jewelry, libations and food. There is live music, a playful mechanical shark for the entertainment of the youngsters, face painting and ice cream, all delivered in a family mode.
Barbles opened this market at the behest of Radom Capital, eager during the pandemic to attract people to the new mixed-use center. They had seen the Heights Mercantile Farmers Market attracting a crowd at a time when most people were staying at home.
“People weren’t going out. They were scared, ”says Barbles. “I wanted to create something where families would feel safe to come shopping, eat and hang out with friends.”
This “wellness market,” she adds, does not compete with her Heights Mercantile which is strictly a farmers market. Just like its Rice Village Farmers’ Market is strictly that too. For the record, the two farmers ‘markets operate under the name Barbles’ LLC The Informal Grub Markets.
She eventually teamed up with Travis Denson in forming The Feel Good group as the demand for markets increased and increased. Here is a list of his very successful markets with all the important details.
Casey Barbles’ Farmers Market Empire
Spring Branch Village Farmers Market, 8141 Long Point Road, runs 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month and features over 45 vendors as well as entertainment for the kids. The next market is this Saturday August 14th.
Memorial City Farmers + Feel Good Market, 1035 Gessner Road, operates from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., once a month and has over 45 vendors as well as entertainment for the kids. The next market is this Sunday August 15th.
MKT Sunset Market, 600 N. Shepherd, operates from 5 pm to 9 pm on the third Thursday of the month with over 40 vendors and entertainment for the kids. You can visit it next Thursday, August 19.
Bering Farmer’s Market, 6102 Westheimer, features 20 vendors who bring their farm produce to the market every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Heights Mercantile Farmers Market, 714 Yale Street, is home to over 60 vendors and is held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every second and fourth Sunday.
Rice Village Farmers Market, 2504 Amherst also has over 60 vendors and is held the first and third Sunday of the month. To discover this Sunday August 15.