New Business: Local, fresh produce market crops up on U.S. 13

 

John Honaker opened John’s Market on US. 13 in late April. The market offers a variety of fresh produce daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The market is located at 5407 N. DuPont Highway, just south of the Fast Landing Road intersection in Cheswold. (Delaware State News/Ian Gronau)

CHESWOLD — Although John’s Market is new to U.S. 13, John Honaker himself is not new to running a market — the 22-year-old has been operating his family’s fresh, locally sourced produce stand since the tender age of 7.

“We started a small farm on our four-acre property in Cheswold on Kenton Road back in 2005,” said Mr. Honaker. “At first we just grew food for the family, but I started setting up a little card table by the road selling squash and tomatoes and stuff like that. After a few years we got a little tent and some crates. Then we just kept growing and offering a wider variety of produce. Last year we had a market set up at Clark’s Seeds.”

After years of cultivating his business, Mr. Honaker decided to open up shop on a piece of high-traffic U.S. 13 frontage in late April. His market is on 5407 N. DuPont Highway, just south of the Fast Landing Road intersection.

Since it’s early in the growing season, the market’s current stock is mostly imported, but in mid- to late spring its offerings shifts to locally grown produce.

“Right now we’ve got all sorts of stuff like honey, apples, flowers, apple juices, jellies and jams, asparagus, tomatoes and Amish-made baked goods — those are hard to keep and usually sell out in the morning,” said Mr. Honaker. “Later in the spring and summer prices will go down and will have a larger variety of things like peaches, blueberries, watermelon cantaloupe and sweet corn — we get pretty much everything locally. Some of it like squash, cucumbers and pumpkins in the fall is from our own farm. We have an acre of strawberries at the farm that provides a lot.”

Mr. Honaker says the new location is a good fit because the spot has a history of markets posting up at it, there’s a large volume of passing traffic and it has proximity to a busy intersection.

“You’ll find a lot of markets near intersections because people are usually slowing down anyway,” he said.

Most of Mr. Honaker’s customers tend to be locals from Cheswold, Dover and Smyrna, but he notes that the area sees a large influx of visitors from “all over” during “beach season.”

“It’s been a blessing to get to know people when they stop by,” he said. “The best part of this work is talking with customers.”

A recent trend toward choosing fresh, locally grown produce from farmers’ markets rather than shopping at a grocery store has been helpful for business says Mr. Honaker.

“It’s nice to have people interested in markets, but I think people sort of always have and always will want fresh, local, farm-grown fruits and vegetables if they can find them,” he said. “Everything we have here is as fresh as it gets. Even the tomatoes are vine-ripe, not gassed like some at the grocery store.”

John’s Market is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more, visit @johnsmarketde on Facebook or call 423-7035.

Did we miss something? Let us know about local business happenings by contacting staff writer Ian Gronau at 741-8272 or newsroom@newszap.com.

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

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