Farmers Market Update

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick

Kelly Products, a company based in Covington, has released the renderings for their four-phased plan to establish a farmers market to be located at at 2620 Eatonton Highway in Madison, tentatively set to be up and running in June 2015. The farmers market and adjacent shops and cafe will sit on the 47-acre plot of land and will feature locally-produced food and merchandise. Phase I will transform the property into a Farmer’s Market with adjacent artisan shops, specialty grocery, and a restaurant. Brad Kelly, of Kelly Products, elaborated on the overall vision for the farmers market. “We will offer various seasonal produce. The retail segment will consist of specialty grocery and the cafe, and the farmers market will compliment these two very well or vice-versa.

The café will serve breakfast and lunch six days a week; daily fresh fare, farm to table inspired menu items. There will be a variety of options from grab and go to dine-in menu offerings.” Kelly said the prime emphasis will be on serving as much locally sourced foods and products from Georgia as possible. Keith Kelly, owner of Kelly Products, has been working on this project for two year, traveling the country to research how the best farmer’s markets are fun. Kelly announced to the BOC last month that he recently purchased three 1800-era barns made of hand-hewn lumber from New York for the first phase of the development. According to Kelly’s plan, approximately 75 percent of the store will be constructed out of salvaged barn frames dating back to the mid-l800s.

The remaining 25 percent of the store will be constructed in such a way to complement the aesthetic created by the old barn timbers and will house the customer service portion of the cafe mentioned previously…The specialty grocery and cafe, and the processing and storage area will cover approximately 12,000 15,000 square feet.

An open air farmers market will be constructed in close vicinity to the retail store to be no less than 4,000 square feet, which will allow for a minimum of 24 spaces for selling goods, with the potential of up to 48 spaces pending layout.” According to Brad Kelly, they are still in throws of the planning process and still have a lot to do before construction can begin. “There is still much to be done,” said Kelly.

“We are working with Georgia Civil on site engineering, figuring out most feasible utility options, architectural planning and design. There are definitely other areas, but these are some big ones.” Kelly Products is still awaiting the decision from the Department of Transportation if the roadway leading to farmers market will need to be widened or if a left turning lane should be added. Kelly hopes the presence of a farmers market in Morgan County with promote agritourism as well as healthy living among the community.

“It will be good for the economic value for farms, as well as bringing the community closer to local food sources,” said Kelly. Brad Kelly was appreciative of how the county has rallied around the Kellys’ vision for a farmers market in Morgan County. “It has been a great working relationship thus far,” said Kelly.

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