History of Corner Market & Greenhouse
In 1989, Paul and Linda Manske moved from LaCrosse, Wisconsin with their sons, Bryon and Travis, to Oelwein, Iowa because Paul had accepted a field supervisory position with AMPI (Associated Milk Producers, Inc.) in Arlington, Iowa.
Seventeen years prior to moving, we hauled milk to the AMPI manufacturing plant in Blair, WI. As a family, we raised and sold approximately 10 acres of produce at the LaCrosse Farmers Market.
After moving to Oelwein, we rented the 10 acres and continued returning to the LaCrosse Market on Saturdays.
Within the next few years, we were going to 5 markets: LaCrosse, Dubuque, Waterloo (3 times each week) and Evansdale.
When the land that we are currently located at came up for sale in 1993, we purchased the 35 acres and started what is now known as The Corner Market & Greenhouse.
Our motto was to try to "Work Smarter, Not Harder" so we came up with the goal to decrease the amount of time on the road that we spent traveling to markets and try to bring the people to us.
When a neighboring 35 acres of land came up for sale in 1996, we went into wholesaling and stopped doing the farmer's markets. We also built our first greenhouse that year.
After a great first season in the greenhouse, we have steadily been increasing our production every year from 1996 to present. We went from 1500 sq. feet to our current 28,260 sq. feet.
But on April 9th, 2004, a devasting fire broke out and destroyed the building. We were fortunate because the wind was away from the greenhouses and they sustained only minimal sparks to the plastic.
After the fire, and because of the loss of equipment, the decision was made to discontinue growing produce.
Since that time, we started purchaing all our produce from local growers. The increased square footage of our new building has enabled us to expand our retail lines and we feel we provide "Big City Variety with Small Town Hospitality".
From early July to early September, we purchase thousands of lugs of Peaches for retail sale. Our customers return year after year for the Peaches.
Because the seasons are such a wonderful part of the Midwest, we offer a huge Fall decorative season from Labor Day to Thanksgiving.
Our Christmas Open House is always the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving.
We sell fresh, handmade wreaths, fresh-cut Christmas Trees, sold in the comfort of the greenhouse, as well as a store full of unique Christmas and holiday decor.
The 23rd or 24th of December is usually the last day of our yearly season. We take a short break until the middle of February, when we start planting in the greenhouses for the next season. The Corner Market & Greenhouse store usually re-opens March.