Greg & Dianna’s Story
The Market had a humble beginning on the front lawn of Greg and Dianna Kasprzak in June of 2009. It started as an idea for our extended family to work together and bring healthy, organic food to our tables. From there, we realized that we could also serve our community and “share the blessings” of organic, beautifully fresh, non-GMO produce, dairy and grocery items.
Utilizing the services of a Minnesota-based organic supplier — the first and largest in the nation — we placed our first order. (It was too early for local produce from our gardens and some vegetables and fruits simply do not grow in this zone year-round.) We started by contacting friends via email, those whom we knew were interested in quality food. We sent a list and told them they could preorder and pick up their order on Thursday. However, the very first week we announced our “Farmer’s Market,” there was a slight problem – our produce delivery got re-routed to Iowa! Thankfully our customers were very understanding and were willing to return the next week when our shipment did arrive.
The next week, Dianna’s sister donated a tent, knowing that rain “could” happen and we didn’t want customers to shop in the rain. This had its problems too. While we were “in the tent” we had to deal with minor problems like high winds and rain that consequently demolished two tents during our first season! There was the usual summer heat and insects, but we persevered and you (our customers) kept returning every week.
When we started the Market we didn’t know if it would even last through that first summer, but with many requests for this Market to continue. we were able to move into the Mora Mini Mall in October 2009.
We had no intentions to expand or grow….but in reality, we were growing out of our space. Without seeking a new place, in June 2012, someone mentioned that the building where the Little Bread Factory had been, was vacant…..and available. I (Dianna) really was not interested but at the persistence of a friend, agreed to look at the building. My first thought was that it would be a lot of work! We began to “knock on a few doors” and amazingly, they all opened. In twelve days, we had cleaned, painted, upgraded and done everything that was needed in order to move in. It was no small feat, with commercial coolers and freezers and shelving and inventory. Getting the place ready and the move was a tribute to the mega-team effort, and open we did, on June 29, 2012. This new location provided more space and an on-site commercial kitchen!
It was our goal to serve the community every week with over 50 varieties of organic, non-GMO fruits, vegetables, grains & beans, dairy, meats and grocery items. During our Minnesota growing season, we endeavored to put as much local (organically grown/sustainably grown) produce as possible.
In November 2013, we announced to the public that we felt it was time to turn over the reigns to someone else. Dianna’s heart and passion was to have more time with recipe experimentation, cooking shows, and teaching. It was a difficult decision to announce, as we had come to know our customers so well and hated to formally say “good bye.” Several possible buyers emerged and we were pleased on December 1, 2013, to turn over the keys to Shelly Sampson and Dan Stankeivicz. Shelly has 30+ years’ experience putting whole and sustainably grown food on her family’s table. It was her heart’s passion to someday own an organic store. Now her dream is coming true! Our family is personally thankful for all that she and Dan have done. We will continue to give them our support with weekly shopping at the Market. Thank you, Dan & Shellly!
And with that, we close here and let them “tell their story!”
Greg & Dianna Kasprzak
Dan & Shelly’s Story
Shelly will tell their part of our story in the next edition.