New farmer's market to open in West End

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email

Posted by Colby Rogers

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Residents in the near West End will soon have a new option for grabbing groceries or lunch, while supporting local growers at the same time.

A new farmers' market is set to open at Crossroads Center off West Broad Street next Thursday.

Tucked away in a plaza parking lot off of West Broad Street and Staples Mill, market owner Karen Atkinson says she saw potential.

The hope is that people will be inclined to stop by and take a look.

Atkinson runs several farmers' markets in the area. After successfully opening a market south of the James River last year, Atkinson decided to branch out to the near West End.

"People are more worried about where their food is coming from, what kind of food they're getting, and how better to feed their families," Atkinson said. "And it is much more inexpensive. You don't have to drive, you can walk. That's one of the things we're hoping will help boost the economy with the whole 'buy local' theme."

But market-goers have raised concerns that there may not be enough local farmers and produce to supply all the locations around the city. The 17th Street Farmers' Market  has been in operation for  decades and another farmer's market is set to open in Bryan Park in May.

Atkinson says there will plenty of farmers once the growing season swings into high gear and that, until then, there will be plenty of other options.

"There will be meat, eggs, artists, apparel artists, culinary artists, girl who makes spring rolls," Atkinson said. "Our markets just aren't farmers' markets. The market umbrella sponsors markets that are more educational, entertainment, people meeting other people,  people talking to each other - one big family festival."

The West End farmers' market will open next Thursday at noon.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.