In 1946, Tom and Eva Deering founded Deering’s Market on 11th St in Traverse City. Originally, it served as a small corner market specializing in meat products near downtown. Fifteen years later, in 1961, Tom’s Food Market’s first full sized grocery store was built on the west side of town. Since then, Tom’s Food Markets has grown into six full size grocery stores throughout the region. Despite their expansion, Tom’s has continued its focus on supporting the Traverse City area community.
Harry Norconk is weighing asparagus when I arrive at Norconk Farms. Asparagus season is in full swing and he doesn’t have time to sit and chat, so instead we hop onto an RTV and drive out to the fields to pick up crates of freshly harvested asparagus. Driving around the farm we pass acres of asparagus stalks popping up out of the ground waiting to be harvested. Out in the field workers ride along the rows snapping spear after spear out of the ground and sorting into crates to be washed, weighed and packed.