A Year-Round Farmers Market Has Made Its Way to Norfolk
While Norfolk boasts several impressive farmers markets during the warmer months of the year, the cooler season comes too soon, and these markets wrap up and return home until warmer weather returns the following year. A year-round farmers market has made its way to this coastal city for the first time ever! Eggleston Garden Center is a staple in the Riverview neighborhood and, until recently, operated primarily as a lawn and garden retail center. They recently partnered with Martin’s Island Produce, located in Knotts Island, North Carolina, to bring customers fresh, locally-sourced goodies year-round.
The Inspiration for a Year-Round Farmers Market
Before the launch of the farmers market this past April, Eggleston hosted a Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) program called Urban Farm. Urban Farm provided employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities, a significant component of Eggleston’s mission. Employees would grow and sell plants at the garden center, providing locally sourced produce and an opportunity to give jobs to Riverview residents. The program was such a massive success that customers wanted continued community support.
“We listened to our customers, who told us that after our Urban Farm program ended, we lost a major service our customers enjoyed with the CSA program, or just the ability to buy fresh, farm-to-table produce,” said Socko Pearson, Eggleston’s Vice President of Operations. “When the restaurant closed, it opened up the opportunity to provide that service again. From there, the idea grew to open a store with a variety of products that are produced locally. We are very excited that we could create Eggleston’s new source.”
What to Expect
Eggleston Farmers Market is in the Riverview area, adjacent to the garden center, where Clementine’s restaurant previously resided. From juicy strawberries and watermelon to spring onions and a variety of lettuce, Eggleston has a wide array of mouth-watering produce fully stocked for all your fresh farm-to-table feast needs.
One of the main goals of the farmers market is to make wholesome fresh foods readily available to the local community. Another purpose of the farmers market is to provide jobs to people with disabilities and to provide them with a goal and an opportunity to participate fully in their community. Many employees are responsible for helping grow the produce sold at the market. When purchasing your freshly picked strawberries or onions, you can feel good knowing that you’re supporting local and giving back to a much larger mission.
The History of Eggleston Services
While the Eggleston Farmers Market is new to Norfolk, Eggleston has been in Hampton Roads for over 65 years providing education, training, and employment to people with disabilities. Providing stable and rewarding work opportunities to residents in Norfolk and throughout the Hampton Roads area has made a substantial positive impact. They continue to expand their programs each year to develop further their positive change in the lives of so many. Find out the full history of the nonprofit that started with a group of devoted parents in 1955.
Eggleston Farmers Market is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm and on Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page to see the latest local fare.
Tiffany grew up in Chesapeake but has called Norfolk home for the past seven years. She fell in love with the city while working with Festevents during college summer breaks. She graduated from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) with a degree in corporate communication. Tiffany now works as a digital marketing specialist and enjoys strolling and rollerblading her way around Norfolk. She lives in Ghent with her husband Trevor, and their two cats, Tux and Joe.