Leg Up Farmers Market on pace to open in February
Standing in the gray shell of a building that is slowly becoming a locally owned grocery store, Brad Clark barely takes note of stacked slabs of drywall.
Instead of seeing what the still-under construction is, he sees what it will soon be: Leg Up Farmers Market.
He points to the far corner where the bulk foods will be. Another section, already outlined on the floor, will be the coffee. A portable scissor lift, used to get men and equipment to the ceiling, will be replaced by the pizza oven.
"I can visualize every inch of this place," said Clark, chief operating officer of Leg Up Farmers Market.
In a few months, that visualization will become a reality when the store at 3100 N. George St. in Manchester Township opens its doors.
Now hiring: Clark expects the 18,700-square-foot store, of which about 12,000 square feet will be the sales floor, to open in mid-February.
Leg Up Farmers Market has started its hiring process, and Clark said he expects to initially hire 50 to 75 people. A lot of the jobs will be part time.
Some of the profits from the Leg Up Farmers Market will be used to help fund the nonprofit agencies Leg Up Farm and Able-Services, which falls under the umbrella of Leg Up Farm.
The store will sell locally sourced produce, dairy products, meat and other items, most of which will come from farms within a 100-mile radius of the store. Some of the grass-fed beef is even more local and will come from an East Manchester Township farm just across the road from Leg Up Farm, Clark said.
Prices will be competitive with those at other area grocery stores.
Person to person: The store will have a focus on interacting with employees and will boast a fully operational butcher department, said Clark, who previously worked for Whole Foods Market for about 20 years.
Another thing you won't find at the store are self-checkout machines. Each cash register will be staffed by a living, breathing person.
"You will talk to a cashier. A cashier will talk to you," Clark said.
Once the store opens, it will be the culmination of more than a year of planning. Construction of the $4.4 million project at the 23-acre site started in July.
"The design of this started on a piece of butcher paper," he said, referring to the white paper butchers use to wrap meat but what he used to sketch out his vision of the store. "It's cool to look at that piece of paper and then see it coming together."
— Reach Greg Gross at email@example.com.