Davenport teen selling fresh produce for community with ‘Cory’s Garden’ stand

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A Davenport teenager has turned his childhood hobby of gardening into a business, all at age 15.

He sells his homegrown fruits and vegetables from a produce stand in Davenport, on the corner of Rockingham Road and S. Gayman Avenue, called “Cory’s Garden.”

“I started when I was 13. I am now turning 16 in September,” said Cory Carter, owner of “Cory’s Garden” produce stand.

“When I first started off my garden stand it was just giving away vegetables. But gardening is pretty expensive so I started selling it,” said Carter.

The soon-to-be West High School sophomore has been gardening for the last six years.

“My grandpa used to have a garden. Well, I always used to pick and I used to help him out with his garden. So really, that’s probably what set the foundation for me.”

A few years ago, a family friend gifted him his first stand at age 13, when he wanted to start giving back to his community. That’s when “Cory’s Garden” was born.

“I have tomato, zucchini, squash, green beans, pumpkins, melons. Pretty much anything you can think of, I got,” said Carter.

He plants his fruits and veggies in a garden at West High School, and he shares acreage at a farm in Long Grove, Iowa.

“All together I probably have 3,000 plants,” said Carter.

The most popular item he sells is Iowa sweet corn.

It is hard to miss Cory Carter around town. Aside from his fresh produce, he is most known for his straw hat.

“I just keep sun out of my eyes and now it’s just a staple. Everyone at school knows me with a straw hat. Everyone around town knows me with a straw hat. So every year I just buy a new straw hat,” said Carter.

“I seen it on Facebook. And so I thought I’ve gotta go down and see. The cowboy hat’s what got me. People say that teenagers nowadays don’t do things. Look what this kid has done. Everybody should come down here. He’s done a lot and I can’t grow tomatoes like that,” said Donna Jones, a fist time customer at Cory’s Garden.

As a young entrepreneur, carter has no plans to slow “Cory’s Garden” down.

“I just love giving back to my community. Watching everyone’s smiling faces. Finding out what people are cooking with my vegetables. And even some people bring back food for me to it. I do it just to see people’s smiles. It brings goodness to my soul.”

Celebrating his 16th birthday in September, Carter has one goal he is working toward.

“My end goal of the produce stand is to have a truck.”

Beyond his sweet 16...

“Hopefully next year I can be bigger and I can have a stand here, and a stand at the farmers’ market,” said Carter.

“Cory’s Garden” is set up on Rockingham Road and S. Gayman Avenue in Davenport on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. through August 21.

He plans to start selling mums through the fall season, and will have weekend hours during the school year.

Copyright 2022 KWQC. All rights reserved.