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Sunburst Market still going strong

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Updated: 9/03/2013 11:55 am
"We've been farming out her for over 41 years, my mother-in-law started a market in 1963 and did the market for quite a number of years," Cynthia Thiel said. "She ended up having cancer and after her death the market closed of course. And we had an opportunity with out oldest daughter and my husband to open the market in the year 2000. So that's when we reopened the market and here we are today, 13 years later." 

Everyday Cynthia Thiel mans the counter at Sunburst Market just as she has done in the past but this year they opened about a month later than usual because of bad weather earlier in the summer. 

But on July 20th they got to open the Sunburst Market doors for the 13th year in a row and the customers were excited to walk through the doors again.

"We've had so many folks say we are so glad you are finally open, that's what really brings us the greatest joy," Thiel said. "They've become our friends and we have many new folks that come out. There just is a need for this they want homegrown products, produce from the farmer themselves and we actually do grow about 90 percent, 95 percent of what we have in our market." 

As Thiel said around 95 percent of the products on the shelves at Sunburst Market is from their farm here in Lubbock. 

But as they are waiting for some of their plants to start producing they help other farmers out by bringing their product in to sell until their vegetables are ready. 

"We have potatoes from the Muleshoe area because we do not grow those," Thiel said. "We have Texas onions, New Mexico onions sometimes. We do have Pittsburgh, Texas peaches and so we are able to support other farmers too and have the opportunity to offer that here at our market if we do not grow it." 

Over the years a lot has changed at Sunburst Markets but the crop the Thiel's are well known for not only in Lubbock, but also across the state is their squash.

"We have expanded and grown, our yellow and zucchini squash is our main crop," Thiel said. "We have almost 50 acres of squash and we ship that to Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, sometimes Houston and sometimes out of state. We grow all our different varieties of squash, seven different varieties here for our market though. So it has changed and has certainly grown." 

Down the road Thiel hopes to continue offering the market and continue adding new things to enhance the customers experience. 

"We plan to as long as we can to offer the market, we're seasonal of course," Thiel said. "Once it freezes we're really done, you know the crops are over. But we will always try to add new things every year or maybe something different in our market. This year we opened up a little cookbook corner, we have a little vintage antique shop. So we are always trying to add something new to kind of add another dimension to our market." 

With the late start to the season Thiel hopes to have the market open into late September and even October if the weather holds up.

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