Feature Vendor Interview – Klein Farm

Feature vendor of the week: Klein Farm 
At last week’s market we caught up with Vicky from Klein Farm.

What do you sell?
Farm raised chicken. They are free range. They are raised out in grass paddocks. There are no antibiotics, hormones or growth stimulants fed to them. They are happy chickens outside.

How long have you been in business?
In the market business (selling at farmers markets) we have been in it probably 8 years, but we have been raising chickens for 35 years.

How did you start your business?
It just developed from a farm. We are farmers. We raise chickens and people are always wanting chickens so we raised more and more and now we raise them this way.

What is a “must know” or “must try”?
For a must try, we have four kinds of chicken sausage which are chicken and spices only. There is no additives, preservatives, gluten or any of that stuff. There is no water injected into them. They are straight chicken and spices. We have them in four flavors to suit everyone’s palate. They are a must try because a lot of people have never tried chicken sausage.

What makes you stand out?
We raise our chickens with no antibiotics, hormones or growth stimulants. Our chicken sausage, like I said, is just chicken and spices; there is nothing else added to it. You are getting a pure product. You are getting a farm-raised, grass-raised chicken that has good quality to it.

What is your favorite thing that you sell?
I have a lot of favorites depending on what I want to cook. Roast chickens are the easiest because you just take the plastic off and give them a rinse, stick them in the oven and cook them. That’s the easiest. 
Preparing drums and thighs with a special sauce for a different type of flavor. 
If I’m late or in a hurry, out comes the chicken sausage. 
If I want something very health conscious I make a salad with cooked chicken breast.

Does anyone else sell your product?
The Green Pantry in Lacombe as well as Brown Eggs and Lamb near Bentley.

Do you attend a lot of markets?
No. We attend this one, Red Deer Saturday market about 3 times a month and the Lacombe market on Fridays.

Which is your favorite and why?
This one! I have been here the longest and we have our permanent spot here. We’ve got to know our customers here and that’s the fun part. Like I said, you get to know the customers, you get to know the people and other vendors.

Do you like being Downtown?
Yes, it’s a very good location. I like where it is and I like my location. More vendors would make it even more wonderful. Keep it here and keep it going. It’s a good market, people are getting to know it more and more. Lots of people in Red Deer say I’ve never been there I don’t even know about it. Keep advertising keep bringing people here. Get more vendors and more publicity. Vendors bring in people and people bring in vendors. So what comes first, the chicken or the egg?

You guys are here a lot, do you have a favorite business on the street or favorite other vendor?
We have done business in Red Deer for 45-47 years. I don’t have a favorite business, I have many. We do business and buy from almost everyone here.

What advice would you offer people just starting out?
Be consistent, don’t be here and then not here as a vendor. Be consistent and bring good quality. That’s what the market wants is good quality put your best foot forward. Don’t sit and play with your phone while you are trying to sell.

How do you define success?
Success is being happy with what you are doing. Having the same repeat customers is another thing. They know that they are getting a good product and you know you are giving a good product. That contributes to happiness. Success is liking what you are doing and if you don’t like it that is really too bad. We have way to much fun doing this. We had a customer buy us popsicles today!

Is there anything you feel people should be educated about when it comes to your products or farming?
I think we do some of that education, or at least we try to. We try to educate our customers, and customers are smart. Our customers know what they want. We do a little bit of education at the table when people haven’t had our stuff before. For example we give them ingredient cards so that they know they are getting quality products. If you look on a commercial sausage the second ingredient is water, expensive water. One-on-one is important – you want to talk to your people. Make friends with your customers because then they come back and most are pretty interesting people.

Find them online at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Klein-Farm/565688766885310?fref=ts

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