Worthington's weekly farmers market has a year-round schedule and is one of central Ohio's largest and most popular markets.
This summer, the ThisWeek Worthington News will feature vendors each week in a question-and-answer format to highlight some of the products customers crowd High Street in Old Worthington to buy.Tiger Mushroom Farms
Tiger Mushroom Farms is the brainchild of Te'Lario Watkins II.
The 9-year-old Blacklick resident "fell in love with shiitake and oyster mushrooms" after he started growing things for a Cub Scout project when he was 7 years old.
Soon, Te'Lario II and his parents, Te'Lario and LaVanya, had grown "too many to eat." They began signing up for farmers markets to help cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit of Te'Lario II, who described himself in a Columbus Dispatch story last year as "a businessman."
Now, the Watkins family can be found at farmers markets around central Ohio and online on social media and tigermushroomfarms.com. The family answered a few questions for ThisWeek.
Q: Are you exclusively a local business, or do you reach into other cities or states?
A: We are a local business, but we ship products to different cities and states. Te'Lario ll wants to sell his mushrooms all over the world.
Q: Why is the farmers market a good environment for your products?
A: The farmers markets are a perfect place to sell our products because customers enjoy fresh, locally grown produce. ... Te'Lario II's charm and his entrepreneurial story makes him stand out at the market.
Q: What do you enjoy about selling your wares at a farmers market vs. a more traditional location?
A: Selling at the market allows us to interact with our customers and make new friends.
Q: Do you sell different products throughout the summer or have consistent options?
A: We consistently have shiitake and oyster mushrooms. We will have dried shiitake and our tasty shiitake-and-onion soup mix later in the season. Our shiitake-and-onion soup mix can be used to season meat and vegetables, and it makes a delicious dip when added to sour cream. It's a favorite!