We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Menke and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aaron, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
During the spring and summer of 2020 at the start of COVID I was looking for work and our family had no income. At that point, my wife, Elizabeth, and I had a 2 year old son and another due in November. We were looking for a way to provide for our family and at the same time we had a heart to serve others and help small local businesses thrive during COVID lockdowns.
Back in 2018 we had started “Katy Farmers Market” in Katy, TX but we moved away from the Houston area at the end of the year and postponed the market. We already had a little experience on how to create outdoor markets so we thought maybe this could be something we start again.
In March of 2020 we planned to start Katy Farmers Market again but the weekend we had planned to start was the first weekend of the first COVID lockdown. We rescheduled for June and ended up planned that day also on the second COVID lockdown. This time we were considered “essential” and we able to start out market.
We saw how much our market had helped small families that own home-businesses so we tried start another one. We ended up starting three more markets in the summer of 2021 – Cane Island Farmers Market, Katy Prairie Market and Magnolia Vintage Market.
The best part about managing these markets is getting to know young families like ours. Our motto has always been Education Community and Growth. We have certainly enjoyed created little pockets of community at our market where you get to know what’s going on in peoples lives. You see the work ethic, the grit, struggle and perseverance of these business owners and families that are vendors at our markets. We have some vendors who rotate all of our markets every month.
Our thought process is still the same to provide for our family, create community and help other families grow their businesses.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My wife and I manage all of our markets. We run all social media account, manage the markets and even make our own wooden signs to put out on market days. We are hoping to continue to do this full time and hope to open more markets in neighborhoods, commercial centers and parks around the Houston area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All of the vendors that continue to sign up for our markets.
Instagram: katyfarmersmarket – caneislandfarmersmarket – Katyprairiemarket – magnoliavintagemarket
Facebook: katyfarmersmarket – caneislandfarmersmarket – Katyprairiemarket – magnoliavintagemarket
Aaron Menke, Hailey Nelson