July's Featured Farmer: Shannon Palmquist

Flying Ace Farm & Farm 2 Face Beauty

Value Added Products

Written by Shannon Palmquist

Hello, my name is Shannon and I’m a Market Farmer located in Forsyth, GA.  I’ve been farming for 3 years now, and long story short I’ve been in the Spa business for 25 years, 20 of that I was working on the Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, NV. The majority of my time was at the Spa at Caesars Palace where I ran the Aesthetic Department with 24 Aestheticians under me, and trained themon selling, ingredients, how to work within your treatment room etc. When I married and moved to Georgia, my dream was to live on a small farm, grow food for my family and others, and formulate a natural skin care line.

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I was so excited after my first year of growing! I applied for some markets in Middle Georgia, packed up my car the night before and off I went to my markets. Unfortunately, people were never really interested in discussing healthy food and skincare options. I had made no money after my first summer of markets. After some research, I found a fair for growers interested in natural farming. When I walked into the event and saw the Georgia Farmers Market Association booth, I bee lined right to it and there I met Sagdringa. I know I talked her ear off, but felt I found my tribe!

So now it's year 2, and after spending long chats with Sagdrina and her giving me pointers, I started my road to value added services. I made a basil pesto for shoppers to taste and sold a pesto kit, which was a hit. For my tomatoes, I did a pizza and bruschetta kits. I also grew sunflowers to sell at the market and I got my egg candlers certificate to sell my eggs. By standing at my booth and handing out samples my sales increased, which led to conversations about the products I had. My shoppers want to have healthy options that are quick to make. We have a Facebook page where I’ve posted a few recipe videos and videos of what we do!

This year I started selling my natural skin care, and it’s doing very well! It’s great to see women taking control of their skin health.

Added value to your business is all about conversations and relationships, and knowing you have to offer. Share a special recipe with the products you sell! Do a weekly video on your Facebook page!  Check your local Department of Agriculture if you need a cottage license for certain foods you can make.  With a little effort you can increase sales. Joining the Georgia Farmers Market Association is a great place to start.  They can sure steer you in a good direction if you have questions.  I’m proof for sure!

When my son and I drive to the Norcross Market, My son and I have a Mantra we say out loud: “It’s not who does it first, It’s who does it better!”

See ya at the market!

Shannon Palmquist

Market Farmer/Aesthetician

Flying Ace Farm & Farm 2 Face Beauty

[email protected]