Monday, February 15, 2010

Sappington Farmers' Market to Expand Near Downtown St. Louis

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 8:02 AM

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The farmer-owners of Sappington Farmers' Market have plans to open a new store near downtown St. Louis, on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and Truman Parkway.

Randy Wood, one of the owners of the local-foods purveyor, says the new store will feature 25,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, a processing facility on the second floor and an 80,000-square-foot greenhouse atop the building.

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"We'll grow produce on the roof, take it down and process it in the second floor, then drop it down another floor to sell it," says Wood. "Initially it'll be a flash-freeze operation for fruits and vegetables. But I'm talking to a couple other food processors in the city about a joint venture opportunity to do maybe pasta sauces and salsas, and other value-added food processing."

Wood says he and his business partners chose the spot -- just east of the ritzy Lafayette Square and just south of the Clinton-Peabody housing project -- because it sits at a socioeconomic crossroads.

As Wood puts it, "We don't want it to be a Whole Foods. We don't want to price anybody out." Produce, dairy and meat from local farmers will make up the bulk of the stock.

The group hopes to have architectural and financing plans in place by the end of the year in order to break ground during the first part of 2011. 

Wood and his partners purchased the Sappington Farmers' Market, on Watson Road, back in mid-2008 and have been revitalizing the inventory to feature more local and organic foods.

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