Photo Gallery | Farmers market to turn into year-round green grocery
The South Memphis Farmers Market is working on a full-time green grocery that would provide healthy and affordable foods to the community year round.
The future grocery store sits at a former fish market, and has been under construction since the winter. It should be completed into a fully functioning grocer in May. That location, 1400 Mississippi Boulevard, has served as the home of the SMFM for the past couple of years.
"We're delighted that the South Memphis Farmers Market has been such a success, breaking stereotypes and clearly showing that South Memphis residents are committed to healthy eating and living," said The Works, Inc. Deputy Executive Director Curtis Thomas.
The Works, Inc. along with the University of Memphis and dedicated South Memphis residents collaborated on the SMFM in 2010.
The market grew out of the South Memphis Revitalization Action Plan, also known as SoMe RAP.
The organization and many residents alike call the SMFM an urban oasis. The farmers market is a resident-led effort to transform South Memphis into one of the Mid-South's premier urban neighborhoods.
SMFM returned for a second season in 2011 and became the third farmers market in Tennessee to accept EBT cards. The organization partnered with Grow Memphis and the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market to launch Double Green$, a program that matches food stamp purchases at the market.
Thomas said one of the key areas of focus in the SoMe RAP is healthy living, and including access to healthy foods in the South Memphis community. Thursdays, when the market is open for business, are always buzzing with shoppers and excitement.
"After the success of the first two years of the outdoor farmers market we began working with the resident steering committee to plan for the expansion of the market into a six day per week green grocer," said Thomas.
A neighboring church, St. Andrew AME Church, donated the use of the property for the project.