Dave Thies is a fifth generation farmer who owns Thies Farm with his brother. The pair decided to expand beyond their two farms in Normandy and Maryland Heights to St. Charles because of possible development that could affect their Maryland Heights location.
Thies has a market and farmland off of Maryland Heights Expressway, close to the proposed site for a 191-acre Maryland Pointe development project. That project stalled, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but the city council recently approved plans for a 48-acre development district in the area.
Thies leases the 200 acres for his farm in Maryland Heights. He said development in the area has been discussed for the past six or seven years.
"We're kind of on a year-to-year basis," he said. "Our longer term lease ran out. No one wants to give us much more of a long term lease because if they have the possibility of selling the ground for what it's worth now, they're going to do it."
Thies said the new location in St. Charles will have a market and 6,000 square foot greenhouse. The indoor market will offer homegrown produce and plants, a healthy cafe and a bakery. It's located at 3800 Greensbottom Road in St. Charles
Behind the market is land they could lease to farm eventually.
"We're going to keep farming there in Maryland Heights as long as we possibly can," he said.
He said they'd like to keep some sort of presence in the Maryland Heights area if development does happen.
"We're hoping to stay there for as long as we can," h es aid.
The new market in St. Charles is expected to open with a holiday open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2.