WOOSTER, Ohio — The Wooster Local Foods Cooperative, Inc., doing business as Local Roots Market and Cafe, will hold a producers meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 in the market building at 140 S. Walnut St., Wooster.
Growers, farmers, and other food producers who are interested in selling locally-produced food at this new year-round farmers market may attend the meeting to learn more about membership benefits and producer guidelines, as well as to see a demonstration of the online ordering system.
A producer advisory council will also be established to review guidelines and procedures as the market opens for business and to propose changes as needed.
The market has received a Specialty Crop Promotion grant from the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The grant money, allocated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture, will provide Local Roots with nearly $60,000 in start-up funds to install equipment, hire a market manager and launch the online ordering system in time for the market to open in September.
In the first phase of the market’s development, local farmers will list their available products through the market Web site, and customers will have the opportunity to order online and pick up their orders during one of the two weekly pickup days.
For this first phase, the grant will allow the cooperative to purchase tables, sorting bins, refrigeration and freezer units for additional products to be sold, and hand sinks to allow cooperative members to handle produce in a safe manner.
The grant is also projected to cover the cost of the computer equipment needed to run the ordering system and to handle onsite purchases, as well as the staff to coordinate the orders.
Once the first phase is underway, the cooperative will turn its attention to phase two of the market, including renovations to the building and energy upgrades implemented with the help of the Wayne County Sustainable Energy Network.
Following renovations, the market will have expanded retail space and hours, office space and room for specialty vendors.
The cooperative is open for membership and invites interested producers and consumers to visit the Web site for details on the benefits of Local Roots membership.
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