Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market Vendor Spotlight: Slap Soda
A new vendor to the Downtown Farmers’ Market in 2023, Slap Soda and Owner Rebekah Walker return for the Winter Farmers’ Market taking place Friday, Nov. 17 – Sunday, Nov. 19 at Hy-Vee Hall in Downtown Des Moines (DSM).
Rebekah Walker Q+A
1. What is your business?
My business is Slap Soda, like you’re getting slapped in the face with a delicious fusion of flavors. It’s named after high schoolers saying, “That slaps.”
2. What do you specialize in?
Slap Soda offers crave-worthy mixed non-alcoholic beverages. We also offer about seven hot cocoa offerings and three apple cider flavors. If applicable (although not served at markets), we also make crave-worthy baked treats.
3. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Slap Soda comes from the concept of soda shops out west, but out here I like to describe it as
mixed non-alcoholic beverages. Think of any of your favorite fountain drinks, lemonade, soda pop, energy drinks or sparkling water. We’ll throw in fun ingredients such as fresh-squeezed and frozen fruit, syrups and cream — my favorites are coconut cream and vanilla cream. Try the “Iowa Nice” … it’s Diet Coke or normal Coke with salted caramel flavoring and vanilla cream! And our top seller is “Tropical Sunset.” It’s Fresca, mango purée, fresh-squeezed orange, passion fruit syrup and coconut cream.
4. How long have you been a part of the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market/Winter Market?
I started with a booth at the Downtown Farmers’ Market mid-season this summer after bringing in some samples of the product. Usually, The Market is booked out, so I was planning to sign up next year, but fortunately they squeezed me in!
The Market creates an environment of camaraderie with the other vendors, there’s amazing exposure for your business and it leads to brand loyalty. It was great to see loyal customers come sometimes repetitively on the same day, but of course, even throughout the rest of the market season. I’m excited now to see a lot of the other vendors with their holiday creations at the Winter Market now.
5. What products do you normally bring to the Winter Market?
We had such a great showing for our hot cocoa bar line and our apple cider bar line this fall that I know it’s going to be successful going into the Winter Market.
6. What’s your favorite part about being a Market vendor?
I would say the biggest thing, outside of just seeing the regulars and experiencing people’s kindness, is meeting new people who I get to go and do events for at their corporate business or boutiques or whatever it is. We recently worked with Holmes Murphy, Canoyer Garden Center, Habitat for Humanity and others around DSM.
7. Do you have any advice for other Market vendors?
Step into your fear. It might be a little intimidating to go into the biggest market of Iowa. When planning for the event, bring more than you think the first time. You never want to be short on your product, and then just take a leap of faith and see what it does for you. Even if you’re feeling inadequate, you might surprise yourself. So that’s my biggest advice. And then of course, don’t be afraid to ask questions. People understand that you’re just trying to learn and grow in a different way that you’re not used to.
Also, try not to compare yourself. Some people might show it better, but everyone has the opportunity if they just put themselves out there and work hard.
8. How can people support your business outside of The Market?
You can find Slap Soda on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. Or support us by booking our catering services for any corporate or personal celebration or event.
See the full list of winter vendors at desmoinesfarmersmarket.com.
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.
In November, experience local artists, live music and entertainment at the Winter Farmers’ Market, now taking place at the Iowa Events Center.