The Family Business Southern Nevada Born & Bred Businesses and the Families Behind Them
~ Fresh52 ~
Fresh 52 debuted in May 2010, a product of opportunity, inspiration, and memories of afternoons in a grandmother’s garden. Days before its Spring Festival, I had the pleasure to sit down with the market’s creator, Carrie Hogan, and learn more about the roots of this Vegas business and the growing family behind it.
“Roland Sansone approached me as an event planner to start a weekly craft fair in his plaza on Eastern. The week before I was in Colorado with my family and saw Food In. and it hit me pretty hard. The end of the movie encourages you to make a change in your community, start a farmers market! I suggested a weekly farmers market to Sansone and here I am today. I’m making an impact on the Las Vegas community and that feels good. I am on a simple quest for conscious consumption. I am providing a platform for small businesses to grow. It all starts here.”
Carrie envisioned a market experience that brought farmers to focus but also put unique and locally-produced crafts, artisan foods, prepared hot foods, hand-crafted items of all kinds, kids areas, and more. Her vision is now a reality, but she wants more for the market, more for Las Vegas and Southern Nevada.
“My current reality is great, but I want more farms, I want more farms, I want more food craft! I want sponsorships to do more special events”.
Carrie defines herself simply as a mother. Like many moms, Carrie has watched her life change from the delicate and complicated likes of an Anthropologie-filled closet to an easy and comfortable one that’s lined with yoga pants. This is an evolution she’s more than happy to embrace as she watches her children, Elle and Cade, and the market grow.
Dedication, determination and drive can often get in the way of the heart, but not for Carrie. The evidence of her dedication and love for Fresh52 and our local community is alive every day of the week, but most prominently on Saturdays at Tivoli Village and Sundays at Sansone. Fresh52 is more than a market, it’s a family and a community, one that has grown together to further the grown of so many families surrounding it. From that first market in almost six years ago, Fresh52 has grown from eight vendors to more than 50 on a regular basis with special events like Saturday’s festival drawing a minimum of 100 farmers and vendors. Of those original eight vendors five are still a regular part of Fresh 52.
“Everyone’s success means so much to me. I’m harsh at times, because I care, I have a huge heart. If you want it, I want it for you. We are a team working towards an end goal for ourselves and our community.”
Success is something Carrie should know well. A quick walk around the market on Saturday or Sunday shows nothing but bounding the success of Fresh 52 and its vendors, the impact it has on families, the area businesses that surround it, and our local economy as a whole.
I was at the first market, and many more since then. I’ve watched Carrie and her husband Ed turn Fresh52 from a few pop up tents, a couple farmers, and some local honey to a weekend destination for families across the Vegas Valley. I’ll continue to watch and happily participate in the growth. My son begs to go back to the market to buy his own food, do a craft, grab some Watermelon Juice, and get more microgreens and we enjoy our family time there, together. It wasn’t so long ago that the same little boy danced around the small band playing at the first fall Festival there, at Sansone Place.
I had a few more burning questions for Carrie before I left her to finish preparing for Saturday’s festival.
What’s more important when choosing your food, local or organic? Local over organic. Knowing your farmer is everything. Know your farmer, know your food. A lot of local small farms in Vegas grow organically, but do not have the certification. Small local farms are the way. Buy what you can that is local, it helps our economy too.
What is considered local when you live in the desert? Here we are fortunate to be able to consider California to be local as well. We have fantastic Nevada Farmers that I love, but unfortunately most are small and don’t always have the variety people are looking for at a market. We are seeing more and more Nevada farms coming to market, but we need more. We always need more farms at the market! The Las Vegas farmers markets will grow if we have the community support to build it. More farmers will come. Shop local and be consistent about it.
What are some of your favorite foods? What about the kids?
I love guacamole, black beans, sautéed Veggies, and olives! I am eating about 80% Vegan. My kids love Salmon eggs, fermented Veggies, salami, and chicken eggs. They drink cod liver oil every day. Snacks? Dehydrated Organic Mango, Frozen Keifer, organic popcorn.
What do you want for Fresh52? I would like one more location. It has to be great because location is everything. I think I’ll be fine with three. Three will still allow me to give personal attention to my team. I want more farms, always more farms! I want to continue to be able to provide a platform for small local farms to sell their produce and a convenient marketplace for people (and their pets) to consistently get fresh, local, healthy food from certified producers vs factory farms.
What have you learned in these last six years?
I’ve learned that everybody loves farmers markets, especially when they are full of variety. I’ve learned what a following vegan vendors have. I’ve learned that a farmers market DOES make a difference and I’m proud of that. I’ve changed A LOT! I’m so focused and comfortable with who and where I am.
It’s safe to say that we can all learn a lot from Fresh52 and the impact it’s had on Las Vegas, Henderson and the families who reside here. Thanks for making an impact Hogan Family!
Learn more about eating and shopping local here
This is the first in an ongoing series of articles about local businesses built by Las Vegas families. Want to suggest a business for this series? Contact us at email@example.com