What is The Summit?
AN OPEN-AIR ALL SEASONS MARKET
Located in Kirkwood Farmers' Market, Missouri, ‘The Summit’ is a unique shopping concept and a beloved tradition, adored by our local community.
We are an open-air market that specializes in bringing in the magic of each season to our customers.
Every season, both the shopping experience and the diverse range of products are renewed, making it an exciting trip for our customers, young and old, each time they visit.
FOUNDED IN 1978
The Summit All Seasons Market located in Kirkwood Farmers Market, is a family run business started in 1978 by Carol Mitchell. Today The Summit is owned and operated by Carols kids Dan Mitchell & Kris Clark, who are mentoring the 3rd generation, Carols grandson., Zach Clark.
In early 1978, Carol Mitchell, a stay-at-home wife and mom of three tweens decided her family could use a second income.
Carol had a dream that she could build a small produce stand to bring fresh, local crops to the people of her hometown of Gray Summit, Missouri. Having worked in the past for her brothers Mike, Denny, and Johnny, who were in the produce business, she decided to go for it.
Brave First Steps
Once the idea was in her head, Carol was determined to make it happen. One big blessing was that her crafty husband had a flair for building. With a personal carpenter on hand, she began to design and build her first stand.
The next blessing was that her “big” brother, Mick Moore was a buyer for Moon Produce, one of the most successful produce houses in Saint Louis. He guided her, making sure that she was well taken care of in a male-dominated business.
Carol decided that her little stand should be called ‘Summit Produce’ since it was in the Gray Summit area of town. She also liked the slogan, “Peak of Perfection” which complimented the company name and gave her customers the reassurance of the quality that her produce would have.
In the spring of 1978 Carol’s first stand opened to the public.
The peak of perfection
In the next few years, Carol found success due to her hard work, dedication, and range of outstanding products which had her customers returning week after week.
She began cultivating relationships with some of the local farmers in the area, and began partnering with them to sell the fresh, seasonal produce they were growing.
The Kirwood opportunity
Carol received a phone call from her brother Johnny who advised her that a spot had become available in the Kirkwood Farmers Market. Although taking it on would be a risk, she decided to be brave and took the plunge! She kept the Gray Summit stand, opening ‘Summit Produce’ in Kirkwood as a second location.
"Show me" tomato
Carol set up shop close to the east end of the market. Back in those days, there were many large produce stands for shoppers to choose from. She knew she needed an iconic item to get the customers to stop and shop at her stall.
A Gray Summit farmer, Joe Marquardt, had supplied her in the past with the ‘Show Me’ tomato. Large, vibrant red, and delicious. It became one of the cornerstone products of Carol’s business, with people coming from far and wide to get their hands on the local delicacy.
She also worked hard to bring new and unusual items to her stall that no one else offered.
As the business grew, so did the need to expand on her team. In a bid to make sure the people she hired care about "Summit Produce" as much as she did, Carol only took on her family and close friends as her fellow team members.
It was incredibly important to her that the customer’s needs came first. And to her, honesty and integrity were the key to success. Carol trained her team in her knowledge, and her infectious enthusiasm made it a great place to work.
In turn, the employees made Carol’s stand a fun place to shop and the business grew.
Over the years ‘Summit Produce’ grew from a small produce stand, which was only open three days per week, into a full-service, four-season store, open seven days a week from April until Christmas. This achievement is with thanks to the support of the wonderful employees and loyal customers.
In 1998, Carol's son Dan, a longtime employee, came on board as business partner and took "Summit Produce" at the market to a new level with his creative ideas and enthusiasm for fun.
In 2009, when Carol decided to retire, her daughter Kristine, also a long-time employee came on as Dan’s business partner.
Although enjoying her retirement, Carol still stops in from time to time, helping out and advising on produce and suppliers.
Presenting "The Summit"
In line with a new era, "Summit Produce" is rebranding as The Summit All Seasons Market and adding a 'fifth season' in our all new Winter Market.
As we have grown and expanded our products over the years, from produce only back in the day, to today's vast selection of plants, pumpkins, Christmas trees, seasonal décor, local foods, baked goods, and seasonal experiences for the family, the new name, "The Summit All Seasons Market" and our new logo, seek to reflect and better represent our growth and transformation over the years!
As The Summit continues to grow and evolve, our heart will always strictly hold to the standards of excellence in product selections that Carol envisioned when she first built it.
Working hard to never take success or a customer for granted and holding on to the business practices of honesty and integrity in all things.
And most importantly, old-fashioned service with a smile.
Our wonderful team is the biggest part of what makes The Summit so great.
We are friendly, knowledgeable experts to help you find exactly what you're looking for (Ok, and admittedly we're a little crazy and fun-loving too!)
Come by and say 'Hi!'
Our Fun Team
Our Team is the biggest part of what makes The Summit a fun place to visit and shop. Our upbeat team is friendly, knowledgeable, and experts, or experts in training in all aspects of what you're looking for. This is what makes a visit to our market so great. (Ok, and we're a little crazy and fun-loving too!) Come by and say 'Hi!'