Monday, February 7, 2011

Public Market And Farm To Fork Foods

It was almost a year ago that Reid’s announced that they were closing Reid’s Fine Foods at Seventh Street Station. The building has been vacant since the middle of June. Charlotte Center City Partners announced an ambitious plan to create a “Public Market” based on the models of Pike’s Market in Seattle, and The West Side Market in Cleveland. Part of their announcement included a plan to ask the local governments to contribute $1 million dollars for the upfit.

Well, judging from the lack of enthusiastic support, that request was quickly pulled back. What has happened since is a number of workshops from local groups, both from the community as well as the farmers and craftspeople to try to gauge the likelihood of this actually happening. Private donors have been secured to fund the project without governmental help, and the plans are moving forward very fast. I would expect a major announcement before the end of March, and a targeted opening in early summer.

This bodes well for people like me who do food shopping every day. I by fresh, cook fresh and throw nothing away! I let the markets be my refrigerator. But more than just that, the ability to buy foods that are not processed offer a chance to better control my diet.

In  view of that, Executive Chef Cassie Parsons is preparing to launch a local food program to make it more convenient for the people of Charlotte to obtain the same high quality products we serve at the Harvest Moon Grille as well as support our local farm economy. This online local store will feature Carolina raised proteins and produce, artisan cheeses, preserves, and many other wonderful items made right here in our community. More information will be forthcoming over the next several weeks, but it promises to add to our urban lifestyle.

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