If you frequent the Freight House Farmers Market in downtown Davenport on Saturday mornings, then you know it's not all fruits and vegetables.
There's plenty of fresh produce from area farms, but fresh homemade doughnuts, cupcakes and cookies also show up on every corner.
And the sweet side of the market only seems to be growing.
Last year around this time, I went on a search for sweet things at the Freight House Farmers Market. The results included cookie monster cupcakes from Eising on the Cake Bakery, a man who has served roasted almonds since 1988, plenty of homemade pies packed with whatever fruit was seasonal and a Vietnamese iced coffee from Deb's Daily Grind that proved to be addicting.
The 2017 edition of my search featured those and more -- from staples such as The Crepe Guy to brand new vendors.
Read on for some sweet-treat highlights:
Real ice cream
Since the 1980s, Lorraine Tygrett and her husband have sold produce from their farm, based in Atalissa, Iowa, at area farmers markets.
This year, the couple took a different direction.
They brought Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, an ice cream company based in Madison, Wisconsin, to the Freight House.
"My husband got this idea, because we realized it's very difficult to find hard-scooped ice cream here," Tygrett said. "It's not soft serve and there's no added junk. It's real ice cream."
She was scooping a variety of "super premium" flavors, such as Mackinac Island Fudge, Mint Avalanche and Old Fashioned Vanilla, out of a company ice cream cart on Saturday -- and giving out plenty of free samples.
"It's a niche," she said. "There are no other vendors selling hard scooped ice cream here."
Another new vendor is Q-C Pops, which offers more than a dozen flavors — from pineapple coconut to strawberry rhubarb to Chai tea latte — of homemade ice pops.
And these pops come without the guilt. Owner Lisa Miranda, a personal chef, says she makes her "gourmet" pops with natural ingredients.
"They're gluten-free, vegan and made in small batches," she said.
Q-C Pops, Miranda said, is her way of introducing herself to the community with hopes of opening a restaurant. She also serves Latin American food, such as pork belly tacos, on Saturdays.
"People are always walking around the farmers market," Miranda said. "They can hold an (ice pop) while they do that."
Enjoy dining? Get the latest reviews and food news sent to your inbox
Before she opened Oh So Sweet, a bakery on Main Street in downtown Davenport, Tiphanie Cannon tested her chops at the Freight House Farmers Market for two years. Business picked up; her brick-and-mortar shop opened in May 2014.
This season, however, Cannon is back at the market. She has sold out of her loaves of bread, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies and jams on recent Saturdays.
"I wanted to come full circle; that was always the plan," she said. "It's nice seeing people here again."
Tommy's Cafe and Baked Beer & Bread Company, both of which have brick-and-mortar establishments, also served baked goods at the market over the weekend.
"You can't beat the marketing," Cannon said. "It helps people put a face with the name. And it's just fun."
There were at least three busy popcorn vendors at the market, including Nancy's Corn and Homefront Kettle Corn, a vendor originally based in Indianapolis, Indiana, who joined the Quad-City scene in 2015.
Nancy Remrey had already sold about five tubs worth of her namesake popcorn, including kettle corn and caramel corn flavors, by about 11 a.m. Saturday. She also has cotton candy for sale. Remrey, who is from Reynolds, Illinois, has been selling her treats for 28 years.
"I have a dedicated popcorn kitchen at home and it's spilling over into the craft room," she said. "It just keeps getting bigger."