Building a Market for Local Produce in the Foodservice Industry

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2009: $14,965.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Andre Mathews
Family Farmers Cooperative


  • Fruits: apples, melons, peaches, pears, plums
  • Vegetables: cucurbits, greens (leafy), okra


  • Farm Business Management: market study
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems


    Co-op members grow greens, okra, squash, purple-hull peas, sweet potatoes,watermelons, cabbage, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, and other produce in Waterford, MS, about 60 miles from Memphis. They rented land and opened an urban market in Memphis to expand their customer base and provide produce to a community that didn’t have fresh food stores. SARE funds paid for business training, workshops, travel, books, permits, internet access and other small business expenses while the co-op conducted surveys and feasibility studies to find additional opportunities in the foodservice industry in Memphis.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.