Daily Farmers Market Opens in Danville Virginia

This is exciting stuff for the Danville community.  A daily farmers market!  I heard about the market from a hoof care client, who is also a vendor at the Danville Farmers Market.  She suggested I visit the market and talk to the owner about putting my soaps in their  shop, which I did.  They will be available in the market after this Saturday.  This is a very nice, very upscale market and I hope if you’re traveling through Danville you’ll stop in and check it out.

ps.  the guy in the picture is Scott Hawkins…we used to work together making fun foods and salty snacks years ago.

The Daily Farmers Market opens for business in Danville

Scott Hawkins, assistant manager, stocks tomatoes at The Daily Farmers Market on Riverside Drive in Danville. The store carries fresh produce brought daily by farmers. It also carries baked goods like bread and cakes, candies, salsas and pickles, eggs, snacks, meats and plants.

By Tara Bozick
Published: June 16, 2010

Residents now have a convenient way to get locally grown food any day of the week

The Daily Farmers Market at 2615 Riverside Drive in Danville opened to lines of people out the door Friday and Saturday, said Lisa Carneal, who owns the market with her husband, Ben.

The Carneals had been researching and planning the market for the past five years.

“I saw a need for the fresh local ingredients. I saw a need for the farmers to be able to get their product out there instead of having to travel long distance to sell their produce,” Lisa said.

She knew the need for farmers to have an outlet ever since she spent summers working on her grandparents’ farm in Chatham as a youth.

The market can introduce residents to local food, connect them to the local farmers and provide healthier foods in an area that forgot what true natural food is — food that isn’t processed or injected with sodium solutions to give it a better shelf life, Lisa said.

The prices are still affordable and the quality is “unsurpassed,” Lisa said.

“All these natural products are right here within our own locality,” Lisa said.  “You can taste the difference, smell the difference and you can see the difference in a lot of products. We started it for the community because of the needs. It’s something we became very excited about.”

Produce loses its nutritional value once it’s picked or harvested, she explained. Food that is shipped from outside the country or across the country doesn’t have as much nutritional value or taste.

Providing healthier eating options may help a community that needs to improve its incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, she said. Nearly one-third of Danville and Pittsylvania County adults are obese.

Lisa hopes to offer monthly seminars focusing on health and nutrition at the market. The store will also offer ideas and ways of preparing products like beets.

Plus, the store markets the business of local farmers, which keeps the money in the community longer, Ben Carneal said. A dollar spent at the local store will circulate in the community seven times before leaving.

“America really needs to get back to the roots, back to the basics and focus on itself,” Ben said.

The market is working with the Virginia Department of Agriculture to offer Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest products. It sells organic and Certified Naturally Grown products.

Around September, Lisa would like to incorporate a butcher shop where customers can choose their cuts of meat.

The market has agreements with 12 local farmers and pulls products from a 90-mile radius. Yet, farmers continue to call and 30 are on board, Lisa said. Producers are putting in hothouses to offer produce during the winter.

Sandy River Pork Inc. in Axton supplies the market with beef and pork products and free-range eggs. Walter Rieck, who owns the farm with his wife, Yvonne, said outlets like the market save farmers time because they don’t have to spend as much time direct-marketing food. He can spend more needed time managing the farm.

Rieck remains concerned that the local economy can support a higher-end store like The Daily Farmers Market right now, but in his experience selling in Roanoke, residents tend to pay more for local even over organic.

“I have high hopes for it and I hope it really works out,” he said. “I really feel there’s a need for it in every community.”

He hopes the convenience of a daily store will help. People who don’t have time to visit the Community Market or other farmers markets may see that as a benefit, Rieck said.

“The better quality is there in local products most of the time,” he said. “Once people try it, I think they’ll see the difference.”

Plus, people will know where their food is coming from, Rieck said.

Joann Riggins and 10-year-old Tiffany Riggins of Danville shopped at the market Monday to buy cantaloupe, tomatoes and oranges. They like the feeling of community inside and supporting local farmers.

“It’s the only local one,” Joann said. “This is a whole lot more convenient.”

The owners plan a grand opening in July.

The Daily Farmers Market
• 2615 Riverside Drive
• Hours: Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Call ahead to order specific items.
• The store takes credit, debit, EBT and senior market vouchers.
• For more information, call (434) 792-2878.
• Local farmers and suppliers include: Sandy River Pork Inc., Reynolds Bakery, Crews Family Orchard, Walnut Winds Farm, Strawberry Creek Farm, Cole Berry Farm, Carol’s Kitchen, Puryear Farms, SleepyGoat Farm, A.J. Nuckols and Desserts and Catering by Cookie.

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