Coastal Alabama Farmer’s and Fisherman’s Market: Local products, homemade products, friendly atmosphere

Fresh, locally grown produce. Homemade pastries right out of the kitchen. Beautiful handcrafted or painted products. Friendly smiles and salespeople ready to give you details of their wares. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience where you can find it all in one place, step into the Alabama Coast Farmers and Fishers Market (CAFFM) located at 20733 Miflin Road in Foley.

Recently voted as one of the 2021 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Award winners for Best Farmer’s Market, it’s easy to see why once you step into the covered building.

“Everything at the market has to be local, so people know when they come here on Saturdays that everything here is grown in the area, produced in the area,” said Isaac Godfrey, who runs the Forland Family Market booth. In addition to selling produce from the Forland family farms, the stand features produce from other local farmers and vendors who cannot attend market days. “Most of the produce is not heavily processed or grown commercially, so everything here really has a relaxed market and hometown feel to it.”

CAFFM was built in 2013 and has grown steadily since. As you walk through the market, you will find everything from produce, coffee, baked goods, paintings and handcrafted artwork, local honey, fresh fruit, shrimp and fish caught in the Gulf. And much more. Each week features new finds as new sellers arrive and join the weekly market. The products offered change with the seasons and the vendors present every Saturday.

Every two weeks, Sheila Quick offers a selection of gluten-free baked goods which, believe it, you would never have guessed they were gluten-free.

“I took old family recipes and new recipes and tweaked them,” she said. “I polish them until they get the taste I think they should taste. I try to bring variety, I have cupcakes, muffins, brownies, blondies and cookies. I’m just trying to make sure everything tastes delicious because it’s so hard to find good gluten free. She says she loves setting up her booth at CAFFM as it gives her the opportunity to meet and talk to people, and the crowds are always great.

Being able to talk to clients is a huge draw for Christina Steffen, co-owner of Artworks Local Arts and Gifts and a retired high school art teacher outside of St. Louis. She moved to Florida seven years ago and now has the time to create her own artwork in her garage studio. She set up her stand at CAFFM for the first time in May.

“It’s fun meeting a lot of people at the same time and talking about your art,” Steffen said. “If you have your store it can be a bit difficult at times, so it gives me the opportunity to do things that I don’t have the opportunity to do in the store.”

While Steffen first began his market experience in May, others have long established themselves as sellers. Local beekeeper Daryl Pichoff has been a seller in the market since it opened, and he has no plans to stop.

“I’m here every Saturday – if God wakes me up, I’ll be there,” he said. “I like the market. First, it’s a fabulous building because you are protected from the sun and the rain, and you just back up your truck and you can sell the back of the truck or they provide tables here, which is wonderful. Second, I love the clientele that comes, we have a lot of people who are interested in bees and the environment, so it gives me the opportunity to be a steward for the bees, and I love telling this story. to people.

Pichoff says he has around seven million bees on his farm, where he produces two types of honey: wildflower honey, which is the best honey if you have pollen allergies because it contains pollens of a multitude of plants throughout the seasons, and orange blossom. honey that he makes with oranges from his own orange trees. Orange blossom honey goes very well with hot tea, he said. Pichoff also grows blackberries, blueberries, citrus, and rotational crops including sweet corn, sunflowers, cotton, and soybeans.

Pichoff has managed to turn his passion into profit, doing something he loves while also bringing money to the farm. Kathy Rush, on the other hand, found something she didn’t know she loved so much thanks to a crazy idea from her husband.

“Nine years ago, when my husband and I were moving in here, he said, ‘Hey, we’re going to roast some coffee,’ and my first comment was ‘Why?’ She said with a laugh. She and her husband run Wolf Bay Coffee. Rush says her husband was the coffee drinker, while she preferred tea. Once she and her husband started roasting coffee beans for sale, she s realized she had never had the right cup of coffee before.

“We don’t sell anything for more than two weeks,” she said. “We also grind to order. Lots of coffees in stores and even some cafes can be between nine and 18 months old, and anything that happens after a month or two, for me, just loses its flavor.

Wolf Bay Coffee offers a selection of flavors including Guatemalan, house blend, and Peruvian, to name a few. Rush works with three different importers and has coffee delivered to her house in packs of 40 and 50 pounds. They also offer decaffeinated. Rush says it’s CAFFM’s fresh offerings that make it the perfect place to sell and shop.

“Everyone here is so friendly, and the fruits and vegetables, the home baked goods, they’re all so fresh,” she said. “It’s just fantastic. Eggs are amazing, what a difference between store bought eggs and eggs where farmers grind food for chickens!

The CAFFM is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop and check out all the local produce, chat with the vendors about what they’re selling, and get a taste of what Baldwin has to offer.

About Lucille Thompson

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