Commissioner Steve Troxler: Grant will expand Opportunities at the Western N.C. Farmers Market

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The Western NC Farmers Market in Asheville opened in September of 1977, and it continues to serve the needs of farmers, residents and small businesses in the area. A lot of improvements have been made recently to the market to remodel and modernize the space. On Monday, the market received a $1.25 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is going to allow for the development of a new concept at the market called CAFÉ. That stands for Center for Agricultural and Food Entrepreneurship.

  • On Monday we were presented with a $1.25 million grant that was secured by the Southwest Commission on behalf of the Western NC Farmers Market.
  • We are excited about this grant that was presented by the Appalachian Regional Commission and what we are going to accomplish with this money.
  • The WNC Farmers Market has undergone a lot of renovations and remodeling recently as part of a master plan to continue to offer a venue that meets the needs of farmers, residents and small businesses in Western N.C.
  • With this grant we are planning a new CAFÉ concept that will benefit food entrepreneurs and farmers alike.
  • Although it sounds like it could be, this is not a new restaurant. CAFÉ stands for Center for Agricultural and Food Entrepreneurship.
  • CAFÉ will be a place where individuals and small businesses can receive training, education and access to production space to succeed in value-added food production.
  • This food incubator concept will help aspiring food entrepreneurs meet regulatory compliance for safe and wholesome food production, and will provide guidance on how to increase incomes and economic opportunities.The partnership with ARC and Southwest Communities really speaks to the success of this market. From the beginning, there has been tremendous community support for the market; from local leaders, to the legislature, and agencies at the local, state and federal levels.We are incredibly proud of this farmers market and the many partnerships it represents. These partnerships speak to the vitality of this market and its importance as a regional economic hub.