NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The opening of a new farmer’s market in a Norfolk neighborhood will help fill gaps in the community.
On Friday, Eggleston opened a farmer’s market next to its well-known garden center.
For 65 years, the nonprofit has provided services to those who are disabled. The market is their newest venture.
“We’ve run a commercial garden center for 15 years here at this location and saw an opportunity to expand and offer products and produce from local farmers and vendors in the area. It’s all made in Virginia. We’ve partnered with local farmers and are excited to offer products here in Norfolk in an area that doesn’t have a lot of opportunities for fresh produce,” said Paul Atkinson, CEO of Eggleston.
The farmer’s market opened in the building that previously housed the Clementine’s at Riverview restaurant.
Atkinson says customers missed having locally sourced produce and that the area was a food desert.
“There are some in this local community who don’t have transportation and the opportunity for them to have good wholesome fresh foods, that’s what we want to be: a resource,” he said.
The money from the market, which will be all year round, will go toward employees, who are part of the community Eggleston serves.
“Historically about 75% of people with disabilities in our country are unemployed. We try to provide opportunities to people with disabilities that want to move from government entitlement and benefits to work. We want to provide a path for that and provide people to have purpose and job opportunities to participate fully in their community,” Atkinson said.
Employees like Larry Guynn, who’s worked at Eggleston for 30 years and lives in the community, believe people will like coming to the market and getting fresh produce. Guynn works at the garden center and grows some of the vegetables that will be sold.
“I’m proud of people buying my stuff,” said Guynn.
The center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.