Worth the wait — that's what patrons at the Gisler Farms Sweet Corn stand said again and again Friday morning when the stand opened at 9 a.m. for its 36th year and in time for National Corn-on-the Cob day which falls each year on June 11.
“It’s something traditional around Porterville,” said Paul Mendoza of Porterville. “I come out here at least twice a week. My family keeps asking, ‘Where do you find this?’ I wish I could ship them but it’s too expensive to ship.”
Mendoza said he arrived at 8:30 a.m. to find a line already forming but it was only a short wait for him. But no matter how long the line is, it's definitely worth the wait, he said. He walked away shortly after 9 a.m. with three Baker’s dozen bags of white corn, and several small bags of gold and green zucchini.
“I’ll be back Monday for their yellow corn,” he said. “The family loves it. It’s delicious. I’ve been coming here 20-plus years and they have always been here.”
The yellow corn would be available on Monday, said Kim Gisler
Kim Gisler said it’s the family’s 36th year.
“I know because my son was one-week old,” she said about the early years. “He is now 35.”
It’s definitely a family business, she said, with her daughter handling all the social media coverage.
“We have the same employees as last year and added three new ones,” Kim Gisler said. “We have great, friendly counter help. We’re very fortunate.”
The day cutters were all at the farm by 5:30 a.m., and the packers by 7, said Dave Gisler. “Tomorrow the packers will be there by 6:30 a.m.”
The corn is picked early each morning and sold fresh off the fields.
“So far it’s a great crop but the heat comes in next week. That’s hard on the corn. We’ll see how it goes,” said Dave Gisler.
The stand was started by the late Leo Gisler, who passed away in April 2020. He ran the Gisler Farms Corn Stand, formerly known as DAD’s in Oxnard, before moving with his wife Helen and children, and the corn stand, to Porterville in the 1970’s. He eventually passed the torch to his son Dave, and wife, Kim, who currently run the farm and corn stand.
Kim Gisler could be heard greeting the customers by name and graciously accepting some homemade preserves from another customer.
Gisler Farms Sweet Corn has now started seeing the children of the children of some of their original customers.
“We appreciate them all,” Kim Gisler said as she held a couple of sealed fruit jars. “They’re always friendly and loyal, and some always bring us things like this.”
As she spoke, Lynette Ybarra of Porterville walked by pulling a cart filled with her purchase.
“I do this every year for my friends and family in Springville. Some are elderly so I pick it up for all of them and deliver it,” Ybarra said as a worker helped her load the bags into her vehicle. “I picked up 11 dozen today but I have to come back when the yellow corn is in.”
Ybarra said she looks forward to the corn and set an alarm to wake up early. She arrived at 8:40 a.m. but because it's so well organized, the purchase was simple and fast. She opted for the shorter “in person” line in lieu of the long drive-thru line which could be seen extending west on Olive Avenue, past Mathew Street.
“It’s different. It’s delicious. To me, nothing matches Gisler corn,” Ybarra said. “My kids love it. We all do.”
In the drive-thru line, Judy McCaslan of Tipton said the corn was worth the drive from Tipton.
“I come every year,” she said. “It’s wonderful. The best around.”
Besides the corn, the stand also offers zuchinni, green tomatoes and red onions.
The stand is located at 1602 W. Olive Ave., at the corner of Olive Avenue and Newcomb Street.
Corn sells at $8 for 13 ears, known as a Baker’s Dozen. Only cash is accepted.
The drive-through corn is accessible via Olive Avenue only. Walk up sales is available via Newcomb Street.
They're open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until they sell out for the day and closed on Sundays.
For more information visit Gisler Farm’s website at www.gislerfarm.com or the Gisler Farms Sweet Corn Facebook page.