The characters of Soulard Farmers Market


KAYLA DRAKE Multimedia Producer

Soulard Farmers Market is 200 years old, making it the oldest market in St. Louis.

The neighborhood of Soulard used to be a food desert, with locals relying on the market for fresh produce. But within the last couple years local grocery stores have come into the neighborhood.

Even with new grocery stores, Soulard Farmers Market persists, maintaining popularity among the community. The market has also become a point of local tourism.

“Awesome cross-section of humanity here, all ages, races, religions,” Norton’s cafe employee Teresa Norton-Young said.

Quirks of the market include bloody mary’s sold at Norton’s Cafe, spices, local apparel and gooey butter cake.

“Cocktails are fun,” Norton-Young said. “People love to drink them and shop.”

Among farm owners and restaurant employees are also street musicians.

Charles Haller has been playing the banjo on the same sidewalk for 25 years and plans to stay devoted to the market for the rest of his life.  

“None of us knows how long we have left and I want to spend every Saturday here,” Haller said. “Then I want them to stuff me and put me here on this chair.”

The market is open year-round Wednesday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.