Located in a “Grand Hall” built in the Italian Renaissance “H” style with a central section for shops and four outer wings for vendor stalls, the Soulard Farmer’s Market is the most famous farmer’s market available in St. Louis today. With over 147 stalls available for vendors to sell their weekly harvest and creations, the biggest crowds are attracted into the establishment on Friday and Saturdays. The market itself is open Wednesday through Saturday, year round.
The venue is divided into the: Northeast Wing, Northwest Wing, Southeast Wing, and the Southwest Wing. Soulard’s Farmer’s Market also writes and releases a monthly newsletter that details upcoming attractions, events, added vendors, and vendors that may possibly be leaving in the future.
Vendors at Soulard Farmer’s Market
Weekly, vendors fill the market with fresh produce, meat, seafood, cheese, snacks, baked goods, spices, flowers, pets, and other merchandise that can change from week to week. It’s an open-aired market that gives it an almost European feel as shoppers peruse one vendor to the next. Additionally, the market is equipped with both free and metered parking, plus a playground, park, and plaza nearby. Many shoppers can buy full meals and head into the park or plaza to sit down and enjoy lunch.
Shoppers looking for the best deals are warned to come early, or else they risk missing out on the day’s freshest produce. Shoppers are required to bring their own shopping bags, or they need to buy a reusable bag for only $3.00 once they arrive.
There is an ATM available onsite, however, it’s always easiest to pay vendors in cash if possible. Only a few vendors are set up to accept credit and debit at this time. It is worth noting that many of them do accept SNAP Program food stamp benefits.
Most vendors are local St. Louis farmers who load their trucks with field fresh produce seasonally. Other vendors are reselling locally grown farm fresh produce that becomes available at certain times throughout the year. They ship some of this produce around the world as well.
Vendors can be viewed from the Market website, with a long list of pages devoted to them, including Ozark Mountain Orchard, Paesans Gourmet Italian Foods, Peters Pork Rings, Red’s Produce, ROCO Trading Seafood, Scharf Farm, Schroeter Farms, Sea Street Company, Siamon’s Produce, Smitty’s Mini Donuts, Centsable Savings, Bierman Sweet Corn, and the list goes on.
History of Soulard Farmer’s Market
The Soulard Farmer’s Market is located within the Soulard neighborhood, which derives its name from Antoine Soulard, a French surveyor for the Spanish back in the colonial days. When he died, his widowed wife Julia gave the city two blocks of land to be used a as a permanent market.
Since then, it has been dubbed one of the oldest farmers markets in the United States, tracing its first open air event back to 1779. Soulard Market moved its present location at 730 Carrol Street in 1838 thanks to Julia, where it now stands in the Grand Hall building that was erected in 1929.
The Market is open from 8 AM until 5 PM Wednesday through Friday, and 7 AM until 5:30 PM on Saturdays.
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