There are many quirks and contrasts involved with relocating from a city of over 8 million people to a town of under 8,000. Though she’s settled into the Gonzales lifestyle, one distinct difference between city and country life is still notable for local business owner Sarah Tenberg.
“It always kind of blew my mind that when I moved here (to Gonzales,) surrounded by farms, that I had to go to Walmart to buy a tomato from Guatemala,” Tenberg said. “I could be in the middle of New York City and I have better access to better, fresher food. That’s insanity.”
With that in mind, Tenberg alongside her farmer husband Matt set out to reconnect the area’s agri-business to its community. With an over 20-year career in the foodservice industry, Tenberg opened The Farmers Daughter in downtown Gonzales in late 2019. Located on the square next to her other business venture, Main Street Market Place, The Farmers Daughter mostly features independent vendors from family farms across Texas and has drawn rave reviews in the short time it has been open. The market has baked goods, a deli, produce and a wide selection of beverages.
Along with the fresh ingredients, the locally sourced market also features pre-made meals such as sandwiches and soups prepared with products from within the store. Tenberg said her current favorite on the menu was the roast beef on a baguette with blue cheese, caramelized onions, horseradish and microgreens.
Tenberg has plans to grow The Farmers Daughter into not only just a grocery store but also a cooking school and garden. She currently holds children’s cooking classes every Thursday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. with plans to include more classes for all ages soon.
Tenberg teaches most of the vocational classes herself as she has experience teaching at the Culinary Academy of Austin, Victoria College and volunteered at the Gonzales Youth Center. She also does plan to bring in traveling chefs and vendors to teach recreational courses.
“We have some traveling chefs that are going to be coming in, we have some of our vendors that are to be doing different classes, we have a lady that does cheese that’s going to be coming, we have a lady that does the most amazing jam I’ve ever had that’s going to come in and do that. So, we’ll have them sharing their particular skill sets,” Tenberg said.
In some respects, The Farmers Daughter is the culmination of decades of work for Tenberg. From breaking through the glass ceiling to become the first female manager of the famed Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington D.C. to working in four-star restaurants in New York, it’s been a long journey to Gonzales for Tenberg but she’s thankful for every step of it.
“I’ve been really blessed in my career to work with some of the best and learn from some of the best and been given really awesome opportunities and thankfully I was headstrong enough to take them all and not run from them,” Tenberg said.
The Farmers Daughter is located at 511 Saint Joseph St. Gonzales and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.