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Produce business blossoms during pandemic

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  • Produce business blossoms during pandemic
    The four-generation, all female staff of Bandera County Produce & Market are, from left, Nikki O’Dell, Isabel Guerra, Eliana Guerra, Amanda Guerra, Ginger Puckett and Patricia Goben. COURTESY PHOTO

The family-owned Bandera County Produce & Market, run by four generations of Pipe Creek women, expanded while other local businesses struggled during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The market started as a roadside business in Lakehills at 9184 FM 1283, near the Four Corners intersection in August 2018, said the market’s CEO Ginger Puckett.

“On June 13 this year, we had a grand opening for our new location inside the Cedar Street Market in Bandera, at 110 Cedar St.,” she said before explaining how the second location was possible.

“What happened was the COVID-19 situation made our business boom in an economy going the wrong way for other businesses. People were desperate for produce and other food stuffs they could not find in groceries. People came from places as far as Leakey, South San Antonio, Schertz and further,” Puckett said.

The six-woman staff went from a five-day to a seven-day work week to handle the demand.

“I went to pick up 1,800 pounds of produce every three days from our suppliers, and we were selling 300 dozen eggs each day. It was pure craziness,” the CEO said.

The hard work and long hours brought in extra money the company soon put to go use.

“We got an invitation from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bandera County to use their pavilion as a mobile pop up market every Friday. We did that for April, May and June, and we had a lot of requests to have a permanent location in Bandera,” said Puckett. “We used the extra money earned to buy a walk-in cooler and other equipment we needed for the Bandera location that opened June 13.”

The business specializes in fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs. It also offers special items like fruit cups.

Other family staff member at the market are Puckett’s mother, Patricia Goben, who assists with financials and oversees art work, daughters Nikki O’Dell and Amanda Guerra, who manage the stores, and granddaughters Isabel Guerra and Eliana Guerra, who help run the stores and work with inventory.

Hours of operation for both Bandera County Produce & Market locations are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and closed Monday.

For more information, call 210-834-4002 or visit Bandera County Produce & Market on Facebook.