People go into business to make money. But at Georgia’s Farmers Market in Downtown Plano, that is not the number one goal of Cameron Satterthwaite, who took over ownership of the market from his grandparents in January.
“One thing I’ve learned is to not put the dollar first,” he said. “Customer service comes first.”
Cameron laughed he’s not certain that his now retired grandfather would agree with his philosophy. For the last 10 years, Cameron worked at the market for his grandparents, but then decided to take ownership when they made the decision to retire.
“I worked here part-time, but then I fell in love with the place. I quit my other full-time job and started helping my grandparents full-time. It’s a good family business,” he said as his own preschooler was milling around the store one weekday afternoon.
The fragrance of fresh fruits, vegetables and spring flowers permeated the cool breeze circulating through Georgia’s Farmers Market, situated directly across from Haggard Park at 916 E. 15th Street.
Having been in that location for approximately 20 years, Cameron has seen the clientele change as the demographics of Downtown Plano have also shifted. The area has taken on a lively, artsy vibe in recent years.
“Honestly, before now, it was mostly older people who shopped here,” he remembered. “Now there are newer trendy crowds of all different types of people here as well.”
But what makes customers come directly to Georgia’s Farmers Market when they can make similar purchases at a large grocery store?
“It’s all about customer service,” he emphasized. “Quality and hospitality are important.”
He remembers customers’ favorites, and even reminds them when a new shipment of their favorite items will be arriving. One afternoon a shopper was impressed when Cameron informed her that her favorite apricots would be arriving the next day.
Produce is shipped to Georgia’s year-round from growers predominantly in the United States. Organic crops arrive from across Texas in the summer, Tennessee in the late summer into fall and Florida after that. Only a few items are imported from other countries.
Jars of relishes, sauces and pickled items bearing Georgia’s Farmers Market’s own label line the shelves. Cameron said a 150-year-old family-owned business in Rusk County, Texas has been providing its canned products.
Pickled Quail Eggs is one of the most unique items at the market. “People who eat them keep coming back for more,” he added.
Cameron enjoys being part of the vibrant Downtown Plano Arts District, becoming involved in events such as Artfest in April and the Downtown Plano Art and Wine Walks each month from April through December.
“The Art and Wine Walk brings in new people to the business,” he added. “It’s been very successful.”
During the spring and summer, Cameron brings in an array of flowers for his customers to add to their purchases. When fall comes around, he showcases pumpkins for sale. By winter, firewood is in stock.
“The extra themes help keep me afloat,” he said, “and it gives me something to look forward to. It keeps things fresh.”
Georgia’s Farmers Market is open year-round Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., as well as Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Every Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Red Tent Markets partners with Georgia’s Farmers Market by bringing in additional local farm and artisan vendors.
The market is still named after the original owner from the late 1990s. Cameron said that Georgia was not a relative, but Cameron’s grandfather shopped for onions and other staples from her family.
“She fell ill with some sort of cancer and couldn’t think of a better person to buy the market from her than my grandfather,” he added. “He came out here, liked the area, and the rest is history.”Georgia's Farmers Market > [codepeople-post-map]