Roadside Produce: Making The Case For A Fresh Start
A Passion For People And Produce Helped A Georgia Entrepreneur Transform A Small Produce Stand Into A Busy Atlanta Market!
Roadside produce was a path she says was completely unintentional; and now the charming one-stop shop touts fresh bounty to home goods.
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Kim Wilson turned a zeal for getting her hands dirty and roadside produce into a thriving specialty market that serves Atlanta.
This venture, named Lucy’s Market for Kim’s grandmother and daughter, began when her beloved vegetable garden inspired an outdoor produce stand that was so unexpectedly successful, she gave up her job after 25 years in advertising sales.
“I didn’t have a formal vision for Lucy’s Market when it started in 2009,” says Kim, whose curbside market transitioned to an abandoned gas station before into its current storefront in the high-end Buckhead neighborhood.
“I like to say I am an accidental entrepreneur. I’ve always been one to put my hands in the dirt and grow all kinds of vegetables and plants, and that love along with some encouragement from y friends, helped me start the business.”
The dynamic market offers fresh produce and flowers, prepared foods, wine, customized gift baskets, and distinctive home wares.
The origins of their products range from Georgia and surrounding states to Italy and France, but quality and freshness continue to guide their diverse inventory.
Throughout Lucy’s development, this mission has remained the same, and the commitment has helped them hold onto many customers from Kim’s first foray into the business a decade ago.
In the early days, the mother of two would begin her mornings with a trip to a trusted local farmers’ market to select the finest seasonal produce available.
After dropping off her children at school, she sold her treasures of the day at a small market on the side of the road, where she started to form relationships with grateful regulars.
“I simply listened to my customers, and those conversations created the foundation for our ongoing success,” she says.
Each time Kim upgraded locations, she broadened her product line, growing the enterprise into a bustling go-to destination with a loyal clientele.
She has added convenience items like small-batch prepared entrees and sides that are “so tasty you will think they were made by your momma,” Kim says.
“And we have an ever-expanding wine selection, as I learned from a very good friend that no meal is complete without a nicely paired wine.”
An eclectic variety of home goods spans pieces for setting beautiful tables to candles, cutting boards, French towels, barware, and more.
With such an array of offerings, it’s natural that gift baskets have become the market’s most popular item.
You can choose a pre-made basket, from seasonal selections like Mother’s Day and Tremendous Tailgate to evergreen varieties like Gourmet Provisions and Sweet Tooth–or create your own.
“it is important to us that we build the basket to match exactly what our customer has in mind and learn something about the person receiving it,” Kim says.
This personal approach translates to everything Kim and her team do at Lucy’s.
Their philosophy is straightforward yet effective: they find out what people want, and fill their shelves with those things.
“Rather than going to five or six shops, you can find what you need under one roof, saving you precious time.
We want our customers to be able to smile and relax while shopping and leave happy.
Written By Elizabeth Bonner Czapski
For information, visit lucysmarket.com
Image By Jill Wellington