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A New Downtown Farmers' Market Experience with Siberian Soap Co.

Siberian Soap Co. 2020 Experiences

June 24, 2020

In previous years, a typical (pre-pandemic) summer Saturday morning for Siberian Soap Co. was spent preparing for the Downtown Farmers’ Market and started off something like this:

3:45 a.m. 
Alarm clock goes off
3:52 a.m.
Alarm clock goes off following snooze
3:59 a.m.
Alarm clock goes off again following next snooze
4:06 a.m.
Up and out of bed for real this time
4:15 a.m.
Dressed for dog walking (regardless of time, there are two Siberian Huskies eagerly awaiting a W-A-L-K)
4:25 a.m.
Huskies leashed up and ready to roll
4:45 a.m.
Back from morning walk
4:50 a.m.
Packaging of signature fresh-baked Canine Cookies for The Market
5:15 a.m.
Gather up water jug, essential snacks (protein bar, yogurt, fruit and definitely something salty — Cheez-Its are the go-to!)
5:20 a.m.
Power shower and dress for success
5:50 a.m.
Load car with supplies (YES, I am one of those crazy people that does it the morning of)
5:55 a.m.
On the road to The Market as the sun emerges over the horizon

Market mornings embody a rush of anticipation, energy and excitement. And that’s all prior to the market opening up for business at 7 a.m. Siberian Soap Co. Market Booth

The sound of that opening bell? It’s yet another rush for what the day ahead holds. From the camaraderie with fellow vendors as we put the finishing touches on our displays to the engaging conversations with customers, folks we’ve gotten to know over the years and look forward to seeing week in and week out, along with many new faces and new friends on any given Saturday, we look forward to it all week long. The community. The bountiful produce. The irresistible smell of pupusas (heaven!). The people watching. The dog watching. It’s all part of the amazing Market experience.

If I could sum up The Market in one word, it would be just that — an experience. A must-see, must-do truly authentic Iowa experience.

Except this summer is far from typical. Our normal routines have been shaken to the core, turned upside down and inside out. So many of our favorite summer experiences here in Greater Des Moines (DSM), including the The Market, are on pause for the good of everyone around us.

New Summer Experiences

Yet, there are still numerous opportunities to savor the summer and create authentic experiences that celebrate all the goodness DSM has to offer in these unprecedented times. Here are a few of my top picks for unique summer experiences:

At-Home Wine + Dine Experiences

Pick up all the goods you’ll need for an at-home, locally-sourced wine and dine experience when you shop the Downtown Farmers' Market Online Marketplace (think of it as the farmers’ market at your fingertips!). You’ll find all the fabulous local fresh produce, meat, cheese, bread, honey, herbs, wine, jewelry, crafts and unique handcrafted art pieces the The Market is known for (including our herbal artisan soaps, lip balms and dog products). Each vendor offers their own custom options for delivery and/or pickup. You get the convenience of shopping from all of your favorite local vendors — with one checkout and one payment. Cooking, baking and at-home meal prep have seen a huge resurgence in the past couple months — what better way to create a special at-home wine and dine experience than with fine, fresh ingredients sourced from our local farmers’ market?

Check out these market fresh recipes from UnityPoint Health – Des Moines!

Workshop Experiences Virtual Workshops Siberian Soap Co.

There’s no time like the present to dive in and immerse yourself in learning a new skill, from cooking to crafting to woodworking. While in-person gatherings are still limited, Siberian Soap Co. is thrilled to offer a brand new series of Saturday morning DIY virtual workshops this summer! We provide the materials (shipped to your door in advance) and the step-by-step instruction (via Zoom). Siberian Soap Co. Virtual WorkshopsYou join in from your home sweet home and make amazing herbal bath and body products — herbal lip balm, fizzy bath bombs, lotion bars and more. Easy peasy.

Outdoor Nature Experiences

Get outside and take a hike. With two energetic, young (teenage-equivalent) Siberian Huskies, hiking is one of our doggone favorite activities in this house! Celebrate the diverse beauty of our state’s natural resources with a visit to one of our many state parks. The adventures are limitless, and the outdoors are the perfect place to practice physical distancing. Hiking with HuskiesPlus 2020 is the centennial year for Iowa’s state parks — sign up for an Iowa State Park Passport to guide your adventures and earn swag along the way!

No, this is not the summer any of us were planning on. Yet, perhaps it’s an opportunity for each of us to take pause from the usual hustle and bustle, to slow down and recharge and to take unique approaches to truly savor the people, places and authentic local experiences around us that make DSM special.

From May to October, experience local artists, live music and entertainment at the Downtown Farmers’ Market featuring nearly 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.

Ann Staudt

Ann Staudt, owner of Siberian Soap Co., has been a Downtown Farmers' Market vendor since 2014. Soapmaking provides a wonderfully creative outlet that combines her interests in science, art and living a simple, eco-friendly lifestyle. Staudt also loves making science accessible to all through her popular hands-on DIY workshops.