Community Garden Market experiences growth

A new and larger home for the Philippi Heart and Hand Ministries’ Community Garden Market opens today, and lots of new services are being planned.

The Community Garden Market can be found at the old IGA building on North Main Street in Philippi. The market moved to the new location from its former home next to Mace’s Pharmacy and across the bypass from the Philippi Volunteer Fire Department. The new location is shared with Fox’s Pizza. Heart and Hand Ministries director Brenda Hart said Fox’s Pizza will remain at its current location until December.

The larger location will allow the market to add a cafe and doughnut shop, and officials plan to use fresh produce from local growers to design a menu for breakfast and lunch.

“We just thought that we could do something for the community by opening a place where people can go,” Hart said, adding that the cafe will have Wi-Fi access and nutritious food. “We just hope it’s a good community place for people to enjoy, so we’re working toward that end right now.”

Hart said she hopes the new additions to the Community Garden Market will open later this summer. The market’s current hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and those could eventually expand with the cafe addition. Growers get 80 percent of the sales profit, and the remaining 20 percent helps to run the market. Hart said that any excess funds from the 20 percent earned through offering consignment will go toward the mission’s goals.

Hart said that consignment allows the farmers to have a job and to spend time doing what they do best, instead of having to market their own products. She said it allows them to have additional income, which ties into the goals of Heart and Hand Ministries, a non-profit ministry dedicated to helping low-income families. Hart said the Community Garden Market accepts food stamp cards,and nutrition coupons provided to seniors and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants.