Food and farm initiative growing

August 16, 2016  

By Beth Christian Broschart
The Parsons Advocate

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Photo by Beth Christian Broschart Kimmy Clements, Highland Market Manager and Potomac Highlands Food and Farm Initiative Project Coordinator, shows some of the high quality fresh ingredients available at the Highland Market in Davis. Clements said the Market just installed a walk in cooler/freezer and has a certified kitchen allowing them to make ready to eat, to-go foods such as healthy snacks and ready to heat meals.

DAVIS – The Highland Market in Davis has always offered high quality fresh ingredients, but now they have installed a walk in cooler/freezer to add additional storage for fresh meats, fruits and vegetables. This spring, they installed a certified kitchen space and are now offering healthy snacks and ready to heat meals. Highland Market Manager and Potomac Highlands Food and Farm Initiative Project Coordinator Kimmy Clements said the Market started with about 400 square feet for office, storage and storefront.

“That was a huge challenge. The following spring in 2014, we added the outdoor storage shed which helped a little, but not really with the food items. The following winter, we were able to expand to the whole room which really helped. In 2016, we expanded further with the USDA Rural Business Grant. We put in a walk in cooler/freezer and installed a certified kitchen.”
Clements said the certified kitchen helps because of an incident when a compressor went out in their old display cooler.
“We came in and everything was cool, but it was unthawed. We rushed it to a kitchen and cooked it all up and then we were able to sell the contents of a display freezer which was completely full,” Clements said. “We sold it quickly and by doing that, we saw there was a demand for prepared foods in the area.”
Clements said the Highland Market offers ready to go meals that people can either heat up or some are good at room temperature. “We also wanted to offer healthy snacks that people can buy to go,” Clements said. “A side benefit for the community is for the farmers. Farmers have excess goods and are always asking if we can help them. So if there are excess tomatoes, I have a USDA certification for canned goods and am able to can the goods. I just have to clear the recipe and labeling with the USDA.”
Another benefit to the local area according to Clements is that the more folks spend on items that are made and grown by community members, the more those community members can spend those dollars in our community at other businesses.
“It’s really a win-win-win situation. We win with better health, we win as consumers and we win for our community,” Clements said.
The Highland Market offers fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, meats including seafood, venison, elk and fish, gluten free items, honey, maple syrup, condiments, bread, pasta and many, many other items.
The Highland Market is open Thursday through Monday. On Thursday they are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday they are open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday they are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday they are open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Market is located at 737 Williams Ave. in Davis. Additional information is available by calling 304-259-5388 or on Facebook at Potomac Highlands Food and Farm. Their website is www.phffi.org.

Article Courtesy of The Parsons Advocate. Full Article can be found here.