Clayton’s Produce Stand is bountiful business

Clayton’s Produce Stand is bountiful business

From sweet corn to watermelon, one of the treasures of summer and fall in the Northland can be found in Grand Rapids.

From sweet corn to watermelon, one of the treasures of summer and fall in the Northland is the delicious fresh produce.

Clayton’s Produce Stand provides that for the dozens of people who stop by, some of them every day.

“It’s beautiful produce, you know?” Kay Dugas said.

Dugas, of Deer River, swung through after playing pickleball.

“You can’t go past the yellow sign, you know. You have to stop,” she said.

People do. The stand in the corner of the Glen’s Army Navy parking lot in Grand Rapids is almost constantly busy. Ben and Tammy Clayton are behind it.

“There’s I would say a fairly large group of customers that, I mean, they come back every day or every other day,” Tammy said. “You just get to know them and kind of know what they want. Some of them, I don’t even ask what they want anymore. I just give them a bag.”

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Glen’s Army Navy owner Rusty Eichorn is thrilled to share his space.

“The parking lot’s full, and a third of it or better is because of this corn stand,” Eichorn said.

But it’s more than corn. Ben Clayton wasn’t sure exactly how many items they carry.

“Corn’s obviously the best,” he said. “But then you’ve got little things that rotate out, the cantaloupe or the watermelon and the green beans. We’ve got strawberries once in awhile and tomatoes. Every day, something different sells.”

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Dugas comes for what she can’t grow herself.

“I don’t grow corn. And I don’t have squash like that,” she said. “And I don’t have peas, and we’ve got peas today. Oh, wow. I mean, that’s really good.”

The Claytons just got a “new” pea shelling machine.

“Very new from I think 1925,” Ben joked. “And it’s about the size of a pickup truck.”

For more than 15 years now, Ben Clayton has harvested produce on 30 acres of land.

Tammy even met Ben right at the farm stand. Eichorn said he loves seeing a young couple make a go of it.

“There’s not many people entering the farming world unless they grew up in it,” Eichorn said. “And so it’s just neat to see them continuing the family tradition of growing vegetables. And they do a really good job of it.”

Locally grown themselves, the Claytons take pride in their produce.

“We’re the only stand that’s open every day where our stuff is actually coming from Rapids. You know, we’re not 40 miles away. We’re 8 miles away,” Tammy said.

“We’re giving them fresh, quality produce picked within 24 hours,” Ben said. “And once they come in and try it, they taste the difference. That’s why we’re always busy.”

You can visit them off of Hwy 2 at Glen’s Army Navy through October or on Facebook.

Kyle Aune/WDIO