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Local Produce Demand Prompts Suburban Farmers Market Expansion


INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A new $3.3 million farmers market building set to open in early September in Independence, Mo., will bring a new level of local produce to meet the growing demand.

“We’ll have 100% locally grown product,” said market manager Joe Antoine, Aug. 23, at the Uptown Market’s ribbon cutting ceremony. “It’s all from a 100-mile radius.”

Local produce popularity continues to grow, as more than two-thirds of American consumers said having access to locally grown food is important to them, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects local good to grow to a $20 billion market by 2020.

Antoine said the old market was popular, but Independence community pushed for greater things. That drive led to the new market coming together in less than 18 months, on time and on budget.

The market’s soft opening is scheduled for Sept. 5 with its grand opening set for Sept. 8.

He expects about 40 vendors, with more than half of them selling locally grown fruits and vegetables.

“I’ve got people coming out of the woodwork to sell here,” he said. “I’ve got fortune tellers who we’ll have to tell ‘No.’”


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Greg Johnson is the Director of Media Development at Blue Book Services, Inc.