06/14/11 — Farmers' market opens at mall

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Farmers' market opens at mall

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on June 14, 2011 1:46 PM

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Ruby Archie and her grandson Deon look over Tom Woods' fresh squash on display at the opening day of the Berkeley Farmer's Market.

As a security officer at Berkeley Mall and a farmer, it wasn't too far of a stretch for Tom Woods to see how his two occupations could work together to benefit the community.

After discussions with Jan Luttrell, the mall's general manager, the idea for the mall's first farmers market was born.

Ms. Luttrell, who said she is new to the area, said the market seemed like a natural choice, given Goldsboro's position as a crossroads between farming, industry and the military.

"I feel like the county's rural contribution is undervalued as a factor," she said, adding that she viewed the market as an extra attraction to bring in mall traffic. "As the mall grows, we're striving to make it into a community center."

And that community includes the county's rural farming areas, she said.

Woods said his produce company, Tommy's Roadside, participates in other farmer's markets in the area, including the one co-sponsored by the city and the Wayne County Health Department on Herman Street.

"We want local produce farmers to have the outlet," he said, adding that those with home crafts outside of farmed goods were encouraged to participate as well. "We want to support the county."

Tommy's Roadside was the sole vendor at Saturday's market, the first ever at the mall, but Woods said that was mostly because it was scheduled last minute to capitalize on the mall's car show going on at the same time. Future markets will be held each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. off of Mall Road, in the JC Penney's parking lot.

"We'll be able to grow into the area," he said of the location. "We're hoping we can let it grow naturally on its own."

There are slots for six vendors this year, Woods said. Those interested in selling at future markets can call him directly at 440-4962.