Downtown Farmers’ Market Vendor Spotlight: Kaysen Family Farms
Looking for a booth to visit at the Downtown Farmers’ Market? Check out Kaysen Family Farms when you visit The Market on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Tara Kaysen Q+A
Q: What is your business?
TK: We are Kaysen Family Farms. We are a small, local, family farm raising high-quality livestock to allow others to learn, enjoy and have confidence in our farm and the pork industry. Everything we offer to the public has been raised on our farm to allow others to have an exceptional eating experience with confidence in knowing where their food is coming from.
We have recently added my sister-in-law’s farm as well Kaysen Family Farms @Whisky Bend Cattle Co. We are also offering pasture-raised grain finished beef in a share, a quarter, a half or whole beef.
We are able to offer these items at the farmers’ markets that we serve (Des Moines & Madison County) and for the means of convenience we have an online store, KaysenFamilyFarms.com, where you can order for delivery or pickup of all your beef and pork needs.
Q: What do you specialize in?
TK: We specialize in high-quality pork from our farrow (birth) to finish (ready to harvest) farm. We offer wholes, halves, specific cuts (chops, ribs, roasts) and some great-tasting sausages and brats that bring people back for more!
On the beef side we offer some great bundles that include a little bit of everything for those who want to put some beef in the freezer for the upcoming months.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your business?
TK: We have always offered wholes and halves to our friends and family for years. A few years ago, my friend started using a farm-specific online platform, Barn2Door, and we decided to try it. We realized that we had an opportunity to offer a high-quality product while helping others better understand the pork industry in hopes of debunking some of the information that is put out to the public about this type of meat. We not only want to provide others with a great eating experience but want to help others better understand where our food comes from. We also have a passion for helping others to learn more about local families that raise the animals and how we care about all the aspects of raising animals locally.
Q: How long have you had your business?
TK: We have been raising pigs in our family since 2005, but my husband grew up raising pigs. We moved to Iowa from Colorado in 2018 and started to really dig into our farm and pork business in 2020.
Q: How long have you been a part of the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market?
TK: This is our second year at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market. We have had a positive experience being a vendor and met so many wonderful people, some customers and some that simply just stop to say, “Hi!” We have had an amazing season this year and hope to continue to offer Our Pork to Your Fork!
Q: What products do you normally bring to The Market?
TK: The weekly items that we bring to The Market include: BACON, Breakfast Sausage, Chorizo (used in tacos, breakfast burritos), Sweet Italian & Hot Italian Sausage. We offer some great tailgating products such as Classic Caseless Brats, Caseless Cheddar Brats and Caseless Jalapeño Cheddar Brats, Pork Patties and Bacon Burgers. We also have 1.5-inch Bone In Iowa Chops, and 1.5-inch Boneless Chops, St. Louis Ribs, Baby Back Ribs, Tenderloins and Boston Butt Roasts as well. Seasonally or in a limited capacity, we also offer 2-inch bone in Smoker Chops, All Pork Hot Dogs with or without cheddar and a classic cheddar and jalapeño cheddar Summer Sausage.
Q: What’s your favorite part about The Market?
TK: We love all the wonderful people that we meet on a weekly basis and love getting to know and develop relationships with the other vendors around our vendor spot throughout the season.
Q: What memory stands out the most when you look back at your time at The Market?
TK: We love the last Halloween Trick-or-Treat Market on a yearly basis, but this year my favorite was meeting “Larry.” He and his wife found us a few weeks into The Market while traveling from Illinois. Just last week they specifically came back and stayed the night before The Market and brought another couple with them and purchased our pork chops to take home. I can’t believe someone would come all that way just for our chops!!!
Q: What advice would you have for new vendors?
TK: Be patient and understanding with your fellow vendors. We are all trying to figure things out and being a great neighbor to others really helps with the overall experience of The Market! If you’re new, ask questions. Vendors who have been there for a bit are willing to help and support a newcomer!
Q: How can people support your business outside of The Market?
TK: We are open and have products ALL YEAR LONG!! Order in the off-season at our website KaysenFamilyFarms.com. We have all our products all year long and would be happy to deliver to Des Moines and surrounding areas for FREE! Sign up for our newsletters to learn more about who we are and what specials we are offering monthly. We are a working farm ALL YEAR LONG and would love to get you Our Pork to Your Fork at any time needed!
From May to October, experience local artists, live music and entertainment at the Downtown Farmers’ Market featuring more than 300 family farmers, bakers, artists and crafters from around the state. It’s easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options. Find the latest updates for The Market each week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.