A Family Market Place is a family owned fresh produce farm and local hub/distributor that specializes in locally grown farm-fresh products. All of the products that we sell are grown right here in the Cedar Valley by a select group of local farms. In addition to fresh produce AFMP sells free-range brown eggs, antibiotic-free chickens/capons, naturally raised Berkshire pork, flowers, plants, and more.
Our small farm is located in Waterloo and we have been in business since 2012. In 2011, we planted a small garden with the intent to feed the family some of our own home grown food. The garden was only 18' by 19' in size, so it was small; we had a pretty good variety of crops planted. tomatoes, green beans, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, and a couple of pumpkin plants. Late in July, as we began to harvest our crop, we had way more fruits and veggies then we could eat.....or wanted to can/freeze. Gave some to the neighbors....and the other neighbors.....and another neighbor......and as it happened he had too much also, but he had a small idea of how to get rid of it. Take it to farmers market, and take his with also and sell it for him. Boom......the idea worked!
We didn't sell much because we didn't have much, sales didn't even cover the cost of the cheesy little supplies we used; but the idea worked. That fall and winter a business plan was developed and in the spring of 2012 we tore up nearly all of our half acre side yard to be able to plant a garden. We put up a couple of small sheds, leased a few acres from a neighbor, put up fencing for a few chickens, and off we went with our tiny little red trailer pulled by our tiny little car to farmers market and a couple of restaurant accounts that agreed to buy from us. That tiny little idea has now blossomed (with a lot of really hard work, a whole lot of "no thanks" or "no" answers and enough "yes" answers) into a year-round business that has constructed a network of about 30 farms (all of the farms we source our food from are located in the Greater Cedar Valley) to help supply our retail, grocery store, large institutional, and restaurant accounts/customers in Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Hudson, Cedar Rapids, Mt. Vernon, and surrounding area towns.
We still have that tiny red trailer, but not the tiny car, we wore it out. The role for the little red trailer has changed to carrying around.....basically nothing. Now we operate with two full size tow vehicles and two big trailers in order to keep pace. Our 20' foot flatbed trailer handles our farmers markets and bulk/pallet deliveries that we began using in 2013. In 2015, we purchased a second trailer, a commercial grade custom designed refrigerated (also can be set to freezer temps) trailer to handle our more sensitive food items such as eggs, chicken, pork and more perishable fruits/veggies.
Since 2014, we have also offered a 10 or 20 week CSA Share Membership to the public and now in 2018 we are preparing for the summer growing season, which is just around the corner. We want to extend our sincere gratitude to the customers that have helped that tiny little idea grow into a great big dream!!!