by Jeff Allen
I’ve stopped going to the Charleston Farmer’s Market these days, partially due to the fact that Saturday mornings are usually my one weekly chance to sleep past 5am, but mainly because half of the thing seems devoted to looking like the real Charleston Market (which used to be a vibrant food market itself) and the other half carries the same produce that you can find in your neighborhood Piggly Wiggly. That’s not to say that there aren’t local producers there – there certainly are. I just don’t like wading through all those tomatoes and okra pods from Florida to Timbuktu and I have this quirky desire to eat what’s in season locally.
That’s really the value of a farmer’s market after all. If it’s organic, that’s cool. Biodynamic? Whatever that means seems fine. But local is where it’s at. I’d rather eat a conventional meal from our local growers, fresh from the farm that morning, than pay a premium for some “organic” stuff shipped from California (how much ozone depleting fuel does that trip cost?)
So I was delighted to learn that Tamlyn Willard, the women behind the wonderful, award winning key lime pie at her Avondale shop Sublime, has transformed the space into the first truly local grocery I’ve found. Forget the farm
Tamlyn plans two additional shops within the year. One in the Park Circle Area of North Chuck, and another in Summerville, where she reports a considerable number of patrons travel from weekly to source her current wares. She has fresh raw milk and farm raised eggs from Celeste Albers, local artisanal pork and grass feed beef, a variety of vegetables (only those in season mind you), and plans for a few more surprises. She also promises to conduct regular “tastings”, giving her customers a chance to meet the growers and producers of the foods they take home.
Stop by this Saturday for the grand opening, I’m sure there will be plenty of sweet goodies out for snacking.