A Family Tradition

In early 1978, Carol Mitchell, a stay at home mother of three, was finding it hard to make ends meet. Carol believed she may be able to build a little produce stand in her home town of Gray Summit, Missouri. She had worked in the past for her younger brothers Denny and John Moore who were in the produce business, so she decided to go for it. One big blessing for Carol was that her husband could build anything, so she had a personal carpenter to design and build her first stand in the bag. The next blessing was that her “big” brother, Mick Moore was a buyer for Moon Produce, one of the most successful produce houses in Saint Louis. He guided her, making sure that she was well taken care of in a male dominated business.

Carol decided that her little stand should be called Summit Produce since it was in the Gray Summit area. She also liked the slogan, “Peak of Perfection” which complimented the company name. In the spring of 1978 Carol’s first stand opened to the public. It was a success.

In 1984 Carol received a phone call from her brother John who advised her that a spot had opened up in the Kirkwood Farmers Market. Again, she went for it. Keeping the Gray Summit stand, and opening her second location in Kirkwood.

Carol set up shop close to the east end of the market. Back in those days there were many large produce stands to chose from. She knew she needed a draw item to get the customers to stop and shop. A Gray Summit farmer, Joe Marquardt, had supplied her in the past with the “Show Me” tomato. Large, red and delicious it became one of the cornerstones of Carol’s business. She also brought in new and unusual items that no one else carried. She hired only family and close friends. She trained them to always put the customer first and that honesty is key to success. The enthusiasm of the employees made Carol’s stand a fun place to shop and the business grew.

Over the years Summit has grown from, an open 3 days a week produce stand, into a full service seasonal shop open seven days a week April through Christmas.

Through the years Summit has had its ups and downs but always steadily growing thanks to Summits wonderful employees and our loyal customers.

In 1998, Carol's son Dan, a long time employee, came on as business partner and really took the market to a new level.

In 2008, Carol decided to “retire” and her daughter Kristine, also a long time employee came on as Dan’s business partner. Carol, unable to stay away, now works for and “advises” her children on a part time basis at the market.

The business continues on and all of us at Summit Produce are happy to be a part of Kirkwood’s historic shopping district.

 

Native annual and perennial plants

 

Farm fresh homegrown produce

info@summitproduce.com
150 East Argonne Drive • Kirkwood, MO 63122-4308