Farm Store opening this spring
Citing changes in current consumer preference, White Violet Center for Eco-Justice Director Lorrie Heber said the facility is moving forward with plans to create its own Farm Store.
“Some of our traditional market channels to sell produce have changed,” Lorrie said. “We are responding to those changes.”
Lorrie said “flash sales” at the center last year helped with the progress of creating the new store.
“We had tremendous success with the sales at the center last summer and realized that folks in and around the sister’s campus would like to have and are willing to support a store,” Lorrie said. “At the same time, we did some longer range facility planning and realized that we had perfect space for a store that could be transformed with minimal effort.”
The store will be inside the center, located at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, 10 minutes northwest from downtown Terre Haute. It will be on the east side of the building with parking right at the door.
“The entrance is soon to have a new door with an awning and a chalkboard telling customers what is available inside,” Lorrie said.
Lorrie said after the success of the “flash sales,” White Violet Center associates began researching farm-based stores in order to prepare a proposal for the Sisters of Providence General Council.
“They approved our proposal in August 2016,” Lorrie said. “Since then, we’ve been working on staffing, policies and procedures, product mix, merchandising and promotion and more. There’s a lot to do!”
Currently, Lorrie said plans indicate the store will have a soft opening in late April and will offer White Violet Center pasture-raised hen eggs, the center’s USDA-certified organic produce, apple cider, seeds and bedding plants.
“We will also sell food items from other local farms and we are working on relationships with several to provide meat, cheese, syrup, honey, flour, candles, and more,” she added. “We’ll also stock hard-to-find items to complement our workshops. For example, we’ll offer cheese cultures and rennets when we have our cheese-making course, or we’ll offer worm composting systems when we have our worm composting class.”
Lorrie believes many will benefit from the store.
“The person who lives in the area who wants to buy the freshest foods possible from their local farmer and the local farmer will benefit the most,” she said. “Right now, the only way to access a full range of fresh, local foods is through the Terre Haute Farmers’ Market, which is only open one day a week for just a few hours during winter months. Local farmers have the same issue. This will provide them another outlet to sell their goods.”