New Orleans has one of the strongest senses of local pride in the entire country. Natives love the city and try to support local businesses as much as possible so that they can have them around for a long, long time. This sentiment rings especially true with the many different farmers markets in the Greater New Orleans Area: the most well-known being the French Market and the Crescent City Farmers Market. As a born and raised Westbanker, I always make an effort to visit the city of Gretna’s farmers market every week.
The Gretna Louisiana Farmers Market, located in Historic Old Gretna at 300 Huey P. Long Ave., is open every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The market features a wide array of vendors, both longstanding and new arrivals, who all cater to a variety of food needs one might have. There are multiple stands selling fresh produce, vendors selling specialty items like homemade jelly and hogshead cheese, and two delicious food trucks Thai Djing and Cajun Porkskins and Tailgators Smoked Meats (both of which always have a line of people).
There are also vendors who specialize in sweets and baked goods. Two, in particular, are standouts at the market. Mid-City resident Mary Moises, who runs The Little Flour Bakery, uses farm-to-table ingredients in her homemade breads (which include flavors like Satsuma, banana nut, and cranberry orange), as well as her ghraybeh (which are traditional Lebanese butter cookies). There’s also Nana’s Italian Treats, which has been at Gretna’s farmers market for around 35 years. According to Gretna native Janet Orgeron, her son and daughter help her make all of the sweets she sells and they use fresh butter and flour in everything they make, like her cucidati (Italian fig cookies).
When going through the market, one can get a sense of how much time and care each of the vendors puts into their work. One of the more recent vendors to join the market who showcase this very well are the folks at Sara’s Crispy Crepes. Helmed by couple Kulisara Jinawong, aka Sara, and Rodolfo Delima from Harvey, Louisiana, Sara’s Crispy Crepes specializes in sweet and savory crepes that are made as you order with ingredients that come straight from the other vendors in the market.
Delima said they’ve been participating in the market for about three to four years now and have had a good following since they started, especially with the help of their Facebook and Instagram pages.
“We’ve had people tell us that they came to the market just for us,” Delima said. “We’re always hoping to get more to come see us, but we’re very happy with the following we’ve been getting.”
Another special feature of Gretna’s Farmers Market is that it hosts an art walk every second Saturday from September to December and March to May. During the art walk, artists like Connie Groue of Cogo Art Designs come to the market to show off and sell their best pieces. To create her art, Groue, who’s from Marrero, uses locally bought tempered glass as a canvas to hand paint her artwork onto while her husband, Pat Groue, makes wood frames for every one of her works.
Groue said she and her husband have been regulars at the art walk and the farmers market since November 2018. She also said she takes requests, does portraits and likes making art that is recognizable to locals.
“I’ve painted art of nature, birds, flowers, food, really anything native to our area has always been a big hit,” Groue said.
So if you don’t mind taking a trip across the Crescent City Connection, give Gretna’s Farmers Market a visit. You’ll find fresh food, treats and art made with love, and people who are always happy to see you there.