WACO, TX — It is springtime at the Downtown Waco Farmer's Market.
Local families and out of towners are getting some fresh air and shopping at vendors like Long Branch Farm from Valley Mills.
"Sometimes people will come up and say what kind of meat do you have? We'll say, hey we've got beef, bison, yada yada, people will be like, wait did you just say bison? And we're like, yeah bison," owner Zoe Seitz told 25 News.
The bison on the menu is grass-fed from Lorena and within a couple of hours, Seitz sold out.
It's the same story for Reynaldo Moralez, owner of the Quesadilla Factory.
"It's only 12 o'clock and we're already sold out," Moralez said.
His team cranks out 500 to 600 handmade tortillas on any given Saturday.
"The only thing that we do is the farmers market," Moralez said.
Executive Director Bethel Erickson-Bruce says winter usually brings in lower sales but not this time around.
"It stayed strong at the end of 2020 and picked up even busier at the start of 2021," Erickson-Bruce said, adding total vendor sales in March of 2019 hit $13,000 every Saturday.
This year it's a whole different ball game. Sales climbed to an average of $40,000 each Saturday. Why? The farmer's market is one of the few outdoor events during the pandemic.
"You usually run into people that you know so it's provided that nice social connection during those times when we've been socially distanced," Erickson-Bruce said. Tourist traffic is also picking up.
So, for the best produce and fresh flowers, always get there early.
"Early bird gets the worm at the market," Erickson-Bruce said.
Speaking of birds, the hens at Long Branch Farm are supplying the pasture-raised eggs you'll find at the market.
The farmers market is every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. across from the historic Alico building.
Vendors pay a flat fee of $35 or $50 for prepared food vendors not using locally grown agricultural products.