Shoppers were out early Saturday at the Owensboro Regional Farmer’s Market, making their way through 30 vendors selling everything from home-grown fruits and vegetables to locally sourced meats to fresh baked goods.
One such vendor is Southern Secrets Pastries and Desserts, which has been based at the Farmer’s Market, 1205 Triplett St., since 2017.
“We specialize in personal-sized items and baking,” owner Taylor Mahlinger said Saturday.
Mahlinger said she started the business with her sister, Mackenzie Mahlinger, to help pay for her college education.
“I’ve since graduated and now she’s in college, so I’m helping her with school,” she said. “I do this full time now.”
Mahlinger said some of the most popular items offered by Southern Secrets are lemon and blueberry cakes, fruit coffee cakes, banana bread, and pecan and bourbon pies made from locally produced bourbon. .
“My sister took a class at the Culinary Institute of America when she was 14, so she really is the pastry chef,” she said.
With such access to fresh, locally sourced ingredients, the sisters have made it a staple of the business.
“The eggs we use are from Hill View Farms,” Mahlinger said, “the peaches we use are from Reid’s Orchard, all the blueberries we use are home grown.”
The variety of pastries and desserts are freshly prepared on the Friday evening before each market, ensuring customers have a quality item that will satisfy their sweet tooth.
“We really believe in quality products and have kept our prices the same since 2017,” she said. “We want quality pastries to be available and accessible to everyone.”
Starting with a stall in the parking lot, Southern Secrets has seen the Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market evolve over the years into a place where the community can gather while supporting local businesses.
“It’s grown so much, there’s such a variety of vendors now,” Mahlinger said. “It’s amazing to see so many local vendors in one place.”
Southern Secrets has also partnered with BrewBridge to provide the brewery and restaurant with a new rotation of dessert offerings. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll give up their spot at the farmers’ market anytime soon.
“We love it here at the Farmers Market, it’s a great community,” Mahlinger said. “It’s like our showcase right now.”