What started out as a conversation between a tomato producer and hog farmer has blossomed into a regional economic development driver that will having a lasting impact on southern Virginia.
The idea of for the Southern Virginia Food Hub was started by Ann Taylor Wright to help local farmers and producers add value to their products, and allow them to sell beyond the local farmer’s market. With the help of funding from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and Department of Housing and Community Development, the food hub is ready to open the Southern Virginia Maker’s Market in downtown South Hill.
The Maker’s Market has a commercial kitchen, dairy processing room, a market with ready-to-eat meals and other local products, as well as classroom and event space. “The whole idea is to give our producers a chance to get their product in front of consumers six days a week,” Wright said.
Wright said the initial goal was to have at least 30 producers within the surrounding area be involved with the food hub, but that has grown to over 100 producers in 8 counties that will provide product and use the food hub once it opens. The organization is even working with the Mecklenburg County school system to provide local produce and other products to the schools in the area.
While the food hub is already conducting training classes and events, the grand opening for the Maker’s Market will be held on June 13 at 10 am. The Makers Market is located at 100 West Danville Street, South Hill, VA. For more information about the food hub and Maker’s Market, go to their Facebook page or sign up to be on their email list.