Mansfield Loves The Local Farmer & The Feeling Is Mutual
Sometimes dreams just have to move forward, no matter the surrounding circumstances.
So it was when Caleb Kayla Back decided to follow their plans together, offering fresh food during a time when eating healthy is perhaps more important than ever. Thus, The Local Farmer came to be in Mansfield.
“It was just a time we could focus on making this dream go in full force,” Caleb said humbly.
Apparently the citizens of Mansfield and surrounding area agree. COVID-19 has not prevented them from stopping by for fresh fruits, vegetables and more. For example, they offer pasture-raised beef and chicken, along with locally raised pork. Dairy products are also available, including cheeses that are made with raw milk from Cleburne.
“Fourteen different flavors. Unlike any other cheese you have tasted,” Caleb said.
And folks seems to be loving it, Caleb said.
“It has been fantastic, and the support from Mansfield has been great and very appreciated,” he said.
Starting Small With Big Dreams
The Local Farmer opened on Aug. 8, 2020. Yep, smack dab in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Caleb and Kayla began raising chickens and growing their own produce when the pandemic became a reality, offering some for sell at a local farmers market.
Then, the idea hit them that they could open their own business. Working with no loans and their own savings, they began making their dream come true.
“We believe in starting small and working your way up,” Caleb said.
It wasn’t hard getting publicity for their venture. Caleb’s family is one of the longest standing in the Mansfield community.
“My family has been in Mansfield since before Mansfield was Mansfield, the property we farm at has been in my family for a good while,” he said.
Among other items you’ll find at The Local Farmer are fresh-baked bread, cheese, eggs – all produced locally. Gourmet Texas pasta is a favorite, along with spices, meat rubs and teas.
Got a sweet tooth? They can satisfy that also with a host of delectable goodies, including the always tasty and popular kettle corn.
Emphasizing Healthy Foods
And it’s all as local as can be. If it’s not directly from their own farm, it’s from a quality producer not too far away. Milk, for example, is from the Volleman’s dairy farm in Gustine, a Texas legend since the late 1800s.
Supporting local farmers is a large part of their mission. But not just any farm can participate with The Local Farmer. After all, healthiness is a must with Caleb and Kayla.
“We grow and produce food right from our farm. We’ve always wanted to provide good produce right here locally for the community,” Caleb said, adding, “You want to know your source, because a lot of farmers are doing mass quantities and spraying them with chemicals that can harm you in the long run, which is why we pick the farmers we use that produce things that we don’t produce.”
Produce Boxes Delivered
Can’t make it to their store? They’ll bring products to you. For $30 a box customers can get deliveries weekly, biweekly or monthly.
“Our boxes include a variety of produce that we have available for that week. It also comes with one dozen pasture-raised from our farm eggs. You may add extra products that we have in our store to the box,” Caleb said, adding that there is free delivery in Mansfield.
Caleb is in charge of everything that comes from their farm. Kayla runs the store. It’s a simple formula, and one that’s working great.
Unlike many farmers markets, The Local Farmer is open seven days a week year-round. Monday through Friday they are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays they are open from 8:30 a.m. to around 6:30 or 7 (depending on how busy they are at closing time), and Sundays they are open from 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
And they’ve entered into a relationship with The Lot in downtown Mansfield to have a market there Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Here, they have numerous vendors and food trucks, and shoppers can also enjoy the sounds of local musicians working to get exposure.
“A lot of people have wanted a market right in downtown, and on a day that they can make it to if they are working on Saturday and can’t attend the Mansfield farmers market,” Caleb said. “We just try to find local artists that are available to perform for the community. And yes, getting artists out there helps build their portfolios.”
But, if you ask Caleb what they are doing different at The Local Farmer, he’ll humbly reply that it’s not about winning or losing in the business world. It’s about helping each other.
“It really doesn’t differ, we just strive to support the locals,” he said.