By Iesha Toft
S-N Contributor 

Thiessens peddling homemade, homegrown goods at Iowa Great Lakes-area market

From wood art to carrots, Everly natives sell it all at farmer's market

 

September 16, 2021

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Isla Thiessen helps her dad in the garden.

Cherry-picked perfection

The Iowa Great Lakes are home to many amazing summer feats: Concert series, delicious menus, amusement parks and more. One of the area's most cherished attributes is the high-traffic, community-oriented Farmer's Market in the Park.

Founder Krissy Thiessen describes it as "an event-based market with high quality, niche products available like fresh produce, food, craftsman items, artwork, dried goods and more." Live bands hit the stage every week to entertain the crowd as they walk through, enjoying the beautiful lakes area and vast array of vendors surrounding them.

Open annually, you can walk up, drive up, bike up, or boat up to this popular event hosted from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. every Saturday from Memorial Day through September right in the middle of Arnolds Park's famous Lake Street. It is one of only 10 markets in the inland USA that can be boated to.


Thiessen, who is married to Everly native Calvin Thiessen, said she started the market because she felt the area could hold another kind of venue with locally-sourced goods.

"We focused on location, products sold and adding a beautiful atmosphere," she said. "Our favorite part is the people. Whether it be the incredible, dedicated vendors or the amazing patrons, we have a wonderful gathering every week."

The market is approaching its final weekend this Saturday, Sept. 18. If you can't make it, don't worry. Vendors will be back on Dec. 4 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Roof Garden for the annual Holiday Market.

Upon meeting founder Krissy, you will find that this high-energy ray of sunshine is typically juggling a few hundred things at one time. Not only does she facilitate the numerous vendors and bands while juggling the entire gamut of duties involved with Farmer's Market in the Park, but she also owns two businesses with her husband.


The first is their farm operation, Cherry Lane Farms, which offers microgreens, edible flowers, salad greens, root crops and seasonal extras to boot. They started Cherry Lane in 2016, desiring to provide nutritious options to their new family and community.

When asking Calvin why he loves what he does, you can tell it's twofold: Providing food to their community and family drives the two to make sound planting and harvesting decisions, reaping what they sow every single week.

"There is something truly special about feeding people," he said.

Cherry Lane Farms is a staple vendor at Farmer's Market in the Park as well, each week providing nutritional, locally-raised options for your dinner plate. Farmer's Market in the Park is just scratching the surface of where you can find Cherry Lane Farm products. You can find them at Hy-Vee in Spencer and Spirit Lake in addition to area businesses such as Wilder Thymes and The Studio. If you can't find them there, head to their website http://www.cherrylanefarmllc.com or email them at cherrylanefarmia@gmail.com.

Business number 2 for Calvin and Krissy is a whole new ballgame for this area. With a launch scheduled in two weeks, the couple has concocted Prairie Home Delivery, where they offer local, fresh food delivered straight to your door. Teaming up with local farmers and vendors, they have created an online gourmet grocery service with home delivery.

Think Hello Fresh, but local, with their chef curating beautiful recipes to make cooking with local foods "easy as pie."

"We love the farmers market, but quickly realized people struggled to continue to support local farms in the off season," Krissy said. "This resolved that and allows people to support and buy local year-round." The couple's passion for promoting local businesses, vendors and farmers year-round has truly made this a heartfelt new business venture for the Thiessens.

"Our boxes will have the most beautiful products," said Krissy. "It's so amazing what we have available at our fingertips locally. We are so excited to pull it all together."

You can check out the new venture at http://www.prairiehomedelivery.com or on the Prairie Home Delivery social media pages.

Everly natives create masterpieces

In the winter of 2018, two seasoned contractors with more than 50 years of combined experience decided to switch gears and change occupations entirely. A few months of brainstorming and pondering projects led to father-son duo, George and Whitney Thiessen, creating Lakeside Woodworking.

The Everly natives had grown to love woodworking and desired to bring it to the masses. As they honed their skills in the family shed, the two realized they had something special. The duo uses wood and resin to create any handcrafted furniture you can think of: Live-edge tables, resin inset charcuterie boards, wall décor, custom countertops, gorgeous sliding doors, bookshelves, kitchen shelving, bathroom vanities, Iowa Great Lakes resin-filled cutting boards, wedding gifts, custom orders of your desire and much more.

Every single item has been of popular demand at Arnolds Park's Farmers Market in the Park. When walking around the grounds, it is nearly impossible to not see someone holding a pack of Lakeside Woodworking coasters, charcuterie board, or having one of the owners carrying a brand new entry table to a customer's car for them.

Whitney and George are modest about their talents, taking pride in enjoying every second of the process and effort it takes to pump out piece after beautiful piece to supply the ever-growing demand. They reap the fruits of their labor when selling face to face at markets and installing pieces into customers' homes.

When selling charcuterie boards, Whitney's wife, Amy, creates visual edible masterpieces. She started doing so for advertising purposes, promoting online sales and revving up Instagram traffic; however, her delectable art pieces soon took on a life of their own. Now, Lakeside Woodworking has a sister company called Lakeside Charcuterie.

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Cooper Thiessen shows off some of the family's home-grown greens.

The new company has taken flight quickly, with sell-out booths at nearly every farmers market and online orders on a steep increase. Amy's charcuterie options are limitless and she also offers to-go cups for visitors to take with them. She continues to learn about new cheeses, pairing options for them and developing even more of a creative whim for meat art pieces. She said she finds peace and joy in sitting down to create her boards for others to relish and share.

 
 

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