Soulard Farmers Market: Produce and Provisions for More Than 200 Years
Arriving from the plaza on the market’s south side, shoppers walk up to a gracious expanse of Renaissance architecture. Inside the Grand Hall, noise levels rise immediately, along with aromas of spices, coffee and bread. Welcome to Soulard Farmers Market—officially established in 1841 as a two-block venue where farmers could park their wagons and sell their wares, which they’d already been doing since 1779. The main building, with shops on the first floor and a gymnasium and theater on the second, dates to 1929.
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are a good time to meet the mainstay vendors. There’s Soulard Spice Shop, which opened in 1914 and first leased indoor market space in 1929. Schweiger’s Produce has an even longer history: The fourth-generation producer was established in 1884. One newcomer is Park Avenue Coffee; its two-year-old location is the company’s fifth shop.
On Saturdays, St. Louisans of all backgrounds, lifestyles, income levels and ages mill through the aisles. From early spring through late fall, many of the outdoor stalls in the north wings fill with local producers of fruits, vegetables, preserves, meats and more. In the south wings, shoppers find cheeses, baked goods, flowers, seafood, sports gear and prepared foods from mini donuts to tamales to falafel.
While you’re in the neighborhood …
1200 Lynch St.
This lovingly restored Greek revival mansion is now a museum that tells the story of St. Louis’ early days.
3325 DeMenil Place
The Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn
Whether or not it’s truly haunted, this former home to a family of beer barons, now a B&B and restaurant, leaves an impression.
3322 DeMenil Place
Images courtesy of Carmen Troesser.