Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Farmers market looking to open downtown store

A new, six-day-a-week business may soon be opening up shop in downtown Jonesborough.
Members of the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen were expected to discuss and likely approve at their Nov. 11 meeting an agreement with the local farmers market to open a store at the former Exxon gas station on the corner of Boone and Main streets.
The town owns the building and has been working with market leaders to come up with a suitable arrangement to get the project off the ground.
According to the proposal that was to be presented, the Boone Street Market, as it is being called, would be a year-round operation initially open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. The traditional Jonesborough Farmers Market on the east side of the downtown courthouse would continue to operate on Saturday mornings from May through October.
Products sold at the Boone Street Market would be predominantly food based and must come from within a 100-mile radius.
Market leaders have asked that they be allowed to lease the building at no cost initially to allow time for the project to become self-sufficient. They are also asking the town to pay utility costs at the building, administer support in garnering grant funding, provide town staff and inmate labor for renovation work, and keep track of all donations made to the market for such work.
“Incentives like free or reduced rent and utility payments on a town-owned building are one very important way we can encourage the type of activity we see as most beneficial,” Mayor Kelly Wolfe said. “Our job is to foster an environment where a fledgling farmers market store can survive and thrive downtown. I consider this proposal to be a form of economic development for downtown.”
Project leaders estimate there is roughly $142,000 worth of renovations to be done before the building could be used as the Boone Street Market. The store would not open until late spring or early summer next year.
“We’ve invested quite a bit in making the corner at Boone and Main a real showplace for the town,” Wolfe said. “This type of venture would bring together so many good things that could be showcased at this location.”
The proposal to be presented at the BMA meeting “only gives us the broad strokes,” Wolfe pointed out. “Of course, we’ll have more details once an agreement is in place.”