A hidden gem: The Duke Farmer's Market

The Duke Farmer's Market takes place every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Duke Medicine Pavilion Greenway.
The Duke Farmer's Market takes place every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Duke Medicine Pavilion Greenway.

Located on the Duke Medicine Pavilion Greenway, hidden by the surrounding buildings, lies a secret of the Duke University Hospital: the Duke Farmers’ Market. It sets up shop every Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the months of April to September, with a number of amazing booths to visit. 

Each week, farmers arrive with their best produce for the month, including peaches, plums and Brussels sprouts. The variety of cuisines, like NOSH, Soul Cocina and Pomegranate Kitchen, will  please every palate. Each booth tells a unique story about the memories of the organizers and the hard work they put in to get there. The market is full of people who are excited and passionate about their work, making it truly a mixture of stories. Some highlights of the vendors include:

Amy Richards Illustration

With colorful art ranging from custom dog portraits to North Carolina Christmas cards, Amy Richards Illustration has everything needed to decorate a dorm, customize a laptop, or write letters back home. Amy Richards is a newcomer to the Duke Farmers’ Market scene, using the experience to spread her art outside Raleigh. She has been an artist since an early age, having since developed a love for watercolor. Richards also offers online and in person art classes for those inspired by her pieces and wish to create some of their own. She additionally  works with a skin care company, Lo & Behold, which initially inspired her to come to the Duke Farmer’s Market; she created the company’s botanical packaging to match the natural formulas. Next year, Richards will publish a children’s book, called “Buddy Worried,” in which her incredible illustrations will tell the tale of a Boston terrier filled with little anxieties.

Amy Richards Illustration offers a range of colorful art pieces.

Caballo Rojo

For all the coffee lovers (and addicts) of Duke University and its surrounding communities, Caballo Rojo is the stand to visit at the Farmers’ Market. An independent coffee company with origins stretching back to the late 1960s, the stand is run by Gabriela Kavanaugh.. In Venezuela, Gabriela’s grandfather worked to create a coffee factory to support his family. Inspired by her family’s roots while studying at UNC, Gabriela developed an interest in trade, particularly with an emphasis on Latin American Studies. She started a coffee business, named “Caballo Rojo” like her grandfather’s company, as an effort to improve the standard of living for farmers and to create job opportunities. Her coffee is directly sourced with an attempt to tell the story of the many farmers she works with. She plans to open a branch of her company in the Durham City Center come January to further expand her business. Whether it is for the late nights in Perkins or an 8:30 a.m. class, Caballo Rojo could be a new-found necessity for Duke students with a love for coffee.

Gabriela Kavanaugh's Caballo Rojo coffee shop attempts to improve the standard of living for farmers and create job opportunities.

Bordeaux Lane Studio

Inspired by art history and geology classes she took in college, Donata Guerra creates jewelry to blend her two passions. Initially placing imagery on pendants while still in school, Guerra later began to create art history pieces. She puts famous paintings on necklaces, often with religious significance. The materials she uses come from the LA jewelry district, but also from a Northern Italy. As Guerra put it, she is “bringing real things in” and sourcing materials she believes are right for each one-of-a-kind piece, perfect for art and fashion lovers alike. This individualized technique is what sets her apart as a jewelry designer and as an artist.  

Bordeaux Lane Studio puts famous paintings on necklaces, often with religious significance.

Each store at Duke Farmers’ Market may have a story from 50 years ago, a past originating from another country, or simply a clearly-expressed passion for art. In every case, each individual’s memories and life play a large role in their creations, making the Duke Farmers’ Market a worthwhile experience. 


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