Hard Work, Good People: Adventures in Wimberley!
I had my dog Cody to the vet by 7am on Wednesday after we were playing fetch and he hurt his back leg. By 3:30pm I was feeling a little antsy sitting at the computer all day. Every time I stood up, Cody followed me around the house and I needed him to be resting. I wanted to get out of the house so right away I thought to text some friends. At the last minute, however, I decided what I needed the most was an afternoon all to myself.
My dog Maggie and I hopped in the car and headed to Wimberley for an afternoon day trip. I figured it would be nice to do what I usually do there; stop by Jacob’s Well, go to Enzo’s for an early dinner, and walk the shops. But this time around I barely even made it into the town.
The thrift store was exactly what caught my eye. I made a quick left and proceeded to look through all of the vintage belongings hoping to find something unique for my apartment. They had some really incredible items, from an old vintage highchair to records, books, and a guitar; the shop is volunteer driven and I highly recommend stopping in there to check it out. As I walked out, I noticed the row of vendors present for the farmer’s market. The first one, in particular, caught my eye because he was sampling coffee and I’m always up for a little mid-afternoon pick me up.
Follow me as I take you through the market and the intriguing people I met; these amazing souls define grassroots, entrepreneurship, passion and hard work.
Oh, how happy I am that I went off the beaten path…
As I walked up to D’s Roastery, I kindly introduced myself and spoke to Darrell, the owner and coffee roaster himself. I sampled the “Mexican Chiapas” coffee and wow those flavors did not disappoint! The smell alone was invigorating, the taste living up to all of the scents. I asked him how he got into the business and was taken back by his response. He and his wife set out to the Dominican Republic to volunteer at a school. They lived with a host family to relearn Spanish and to deepen their relationship with God and nature. They worked on a farm and when the head roaster quit, Darrell stepped in to help, only to discover his own true passion. He learned the ins and outs and was able to make a career out of his newfound passion when he returned to the States.
I was floored. What an inspiring story, I thought. How crazy is it that we sometimes set out on an unknown journey only to discover our real true passions? This is a feeling I am able to relate to since my own move to Texas! I proudly purchased four bags of coffee beans one in every flavor and thought about how many other great stories there must be in Wimberley or at this market alone. Darrel and I exchanged cards and I was off to the next station.
Next stop, Leaven Breads! I walked up and was immediately greeted by Pete. Not only did he offer me a sample of bread right away, but he also gave Maggie a piece, which of course immediately won me over. This bread was amazing and freshly baked that morning by Pete himself. I told him I was going to walk the rest of the row and come back for the walnut raisin bread so my hands weren’t full for the entire walk. However, I came back to find that the last one was scooped up and no longer available. A reminder that sometimes our windows of opportunity are small and if we want something we should hop right on it! I still picked up some bread, but I’ll have to make another trip out there to get the one I specifically wanted!!
When I walked up to Oma & Opa’s, I was in awe over all of the beautiful colors on the table. Vegetables upon vegetables were amongst me and yet, all I could smell was the sweetest scent of peaches. I knew right away that I wanted to bring some home to enjoy. The man I spoke to was so nice and I wish I could remember his name. Maggie was roasting from the heat and hiding under the table but he didn’t seem to mind at all. Everyone was so inviting and friendly. These are the exact kind of people and businesses that I want to support!
Payton Lawrence – Caterer, Baker, Candy Maker
Where do I begin? I absolutely loved Payton. From the second I walked up to her table she radiated light, love, and energy. It was contagious and I knew right away she was doing what she loved and she didn’t hesitate to share her passion for baking with me either. The two of us just connected right away. She told me her entire family liked baking too and I shared with her my lack of baking talent despite my own family’s love of cooking! We definitely shared some laughs!
I wanted all of the desserts, but I decided on the blackberry pie. As I was checking out, a woman who appeared to be a regular walked up and said she needed more of the “crack brownies”. I had just finished paying but I know what I am trying next time! I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back there to purchase some more of Payton’s desserts. The ingredients were some of the freshest I have ever tasted. The mini pie was over-the-top and the next time I attend a social, I know where I am going to buy my desserts. I just know everyone would enjoy them as much as I did. As I was getting in my car to leave, Payton poked her head up to my window and told me to write down my info. She wanted to stay in touch and I did too!
Next up… Cheese, please! If you know me, you know I have a weakness for meat and cheese! One of life’s many pleasures come in the riches of good food and cheese is on the top of that list for me. I introduced myself to the owner, Richard, and dove head first into trying the Jalapeno/Cilantro cheese. Wow. Oh. Wow. Before I could catch my breath I told him I wanted one to purchase. I immediately thought that the cheese would be paired perfectly with the bread from Leaven Bread. I thought one was enough but the other sample was in eye’s view and I just couldn’t resist. This one was the “Tropical” flavor; combined with goat milk, pineapple, coconut, sugar, coconut extract, and pure vanilla extract. I sampled it there are no words to describe just how delicious it tasted. I immediately envisioned pairing it with a fruit salad or even better, the peaches from Oma and Opa’s Farm! I swear I just hit the one stop shop for all delicious foods and walked out with three different goat cheese concoctions.
I walked up to the next booth and was immediately greeted by Diana of Bell Springs Products. Her table was colorful; offering soaps in all different shapes, sizes, and scents. One by one, I picked them up to smell and observe. My indecisiveness was in full force as they all offered their own unique clean smell. I opted for the peppermint because once again, I’m always looking for that additional boost of energy and nothing wakes you up more than the smell of invigorating peppermint in the morning. Diana told me all about her love for making soaps. She even pointed out a few shapes and names that were inspired by her children. She, as well as the others, greeted Maggie with open arms too. Maggie loved all of the attention from the kind people working at the market. We were both having a really nice time!
Last but certainly not least was EIEIO, and by far the most entertaining of them all. Kathleen Mooney was an absolute hoot and just so much fun to talk to! She was so full of energy. I told her about my love of pesto and she shared with me all of the ways I can use it, from pasta to bread to homemade pizzas. She also taught me how to get longevity out of the jar by adding some olive oil after every use. She said it would help to stretch the pesto and get more uses out of it, a tip I greatly appreciated. I think I could learn a lot from her! Kathleen mentioned that everyone keeps asking her when her she is going to release her cookbook and I quickly hopped on that bandwagon of requests. “Please write one up, I’d love to purchase your book of recipes,” I said. She told me all about her farm and I told her I’d love to see it and without hesitation, she asked me what I was doing that evening. How kind to make such an offer? Without a doubt, I will 100% take her up on the offer. In fact, after visiting her website, I noticed they offer volunteer opportunities and I would be honored to roll up my sleeves and get my hands a little dirty on the farm!
All in all, the day trip was a complete success. I set out to drive into the town but that last minute turn led me to an abundance of incredibly entrepreneurial, grassroots, hard working people; people that I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet.
It was HOT. I was sweating out there and Maggie was sweltering in the heat yet no one said a thing. There were no complaints, just happiness, and contentment. Everyone was greeted with open arms, stories to share, and samples (not just for me but Maggie as well). I left each stand feeling inspired and just overall grateful to be amongst really good hearted and kind people.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to visit the Wimberley Farmer’s Market. It is a group of people who are building strong communities, sharing light and love and living each day with passion.
Maggie and I had the perfect ending to really good day. In an effort to avoid the rush hour traffic home, we posted up at the Driftwood Vineyards with a blanket, water, delicious peaches from the market and a good book while surrounded by the most incredible views. The only sounds were from nature and the summer breeze blowing through the leaves of the tree that we were under.
It was perfect and we soaked it all in, every minute of it!