Farmer’s Market sprouts quickly in Grosse Tete

Staff Report

Big things come in little packages, as proof from what is becoming a popular event in Iberville Parish’s smallest municipality.

A patron makes a selection at Grosse Tete resident Neal Boudreaux’s barbecue sauce booth. Boudreaux was among 24 vendors at the second Grosse Tete Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Aug. 14 at Grosse Tete Memorial Park.

Approximately two dozen vendors converged on a hot, muggy Saturday morning at Grosse Tete Memorial Park for the village’s second Farmer’s Market.

It was the type of “grass roots” found mostly in small communities.

Some sold pickles, others peddled pralines, one sold barbecue sauce and others had jelly and honey, among other items.

Alderwoman Jeanne David and City Clerk/Iberville School Board member Pam George pitched the idea to Mayor Mike Chauffe. From there, they put the wheels in motion.

The event has drawn visitors and tourists from the local area, but the full parking lot indicates it’s the obvious.

“We have only 650 people here, so we’re definitely getting people from other areas,” George said. “There’s plenty of parking on the other side of the park, but we just need to make people aware of that.”

“When we built the park, we talked about having little functions here,” David said. “Finally, Pam and I decided to do our first one last month and it did great.”

For resident Sue and Mary Ann Persick, the market opened the door for them to sell green beans, pickled carrots and smoked sausage, among other homemade items.

“Everything is homegrown,” Sue Persick said. “It’s a labor of love.”

For Grosse Tete resident Neal Boudreaux, who works full-time as a mechanic, the market has given him a chance to promote his homemade barbecue sauce.

The farmer’s market is his first public sales gig, but his barbecue sauce – a tangy and spicy creation – has been a favorite for 15 years.

“I gave it a try at the first market a month ago, and it was a lot of fun,” Boudreaux said. “It’s a good way to promote the product.”

Baton Rouge resident Chanel Overton who worked both events saw it as an opportunity to broaden the horizons for her baked goods, including pralines.

The smaller, more laidback environment doesn’t hurt either, she said.

“It’s community-oriented here and a less stressful than bigger areas,” Overton said. “The August humidity makes it a lot tougher to cook pralines, but I get a lot of requests for them so I have to make it happen.”

The sale of the products is a big part of the event, but it extends beyond sales, Persick said.

“The best part is just visiting and meeting new people out here,” she said.

The first farmer’s market was held last month, but the concept is not new to Iberville Parish. The City of Plaquemine has held farmer’s markets on weekends for several years.

The Plaquemine market is tentatively set to resume this fall.