Leg Up Farmers Market to open

Greg Gross
Leg Up Farmers Market, 3100 N. George St. in Manchester Township, is doing final preparations for opening, Wednesday,  March 2, 2016. (John A. Pavoncello -jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

The much-anticipated and long-awaited Leg UP Farmers Market in Manchester Township is poised to open its doors to the public later this month.

The niche grocery store at 3100 N. George St. will hold its grand opening on Wednesday, March 16. Doors open at 7 a.m., said Brad Clark, chief operating officer of Leg Up Farmers Market,

"I'm an amazingly proud individual," Clark said. "I've been looking at this on paper for months and seeing it come to life is awesome."

Clark has been involved with the $4.4 million project since before ground was broke at the 23-acre site — the former Shiloh Nurseries property that most recently housed Brown's Farm Market & Garden Center, or Brown's North — in July.

The store will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Clark said.

The store: The 18,700-square-foot store will sell locally sourced produce, dairy products, meat and other items. Those items will come from farms within a 100-mile radius of the store, Clark said.

All its fresh meat offerings will come from farms even closer to home and within a 30-mile radius. Some of the grass-fed beef will come from Forge Hill an East Manchester Township farm just across the road from Leg Up Farm, the therapy center that focuses on children with special needs.

Brad Clark, CEO of  Leg Up Farmers Market, 3100 N. George St. in Manchester Township, unpacks a box of honey roasted peanuts for the "grind your own nut butter" as final preparations for opening are being completed, Wednesday,  March 2, 2016. (John A. Pavoncello - jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

Numerous food producers will be on hand at the store on its opening day to educate customers about their products and to hand out samples. That includes honey from Gingrich Apiaries, Blind Spot Nutbutters and jerky from Triple R Farms.

The store also will offer in-store roasted coffee; a juice, smoothie and coffee bar; an artisan cheese selection; brick-oven artisan pizza and sandwiches; about 120 bulk items, such as nuts; sushi made with sustainable seafood and more. York City Pretzel Co. signed its first retail deal sell its products in the store.

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.

Anticipation: Though the store is a few weeks from holding its grand opening, it has already gained quite a following on social media, with numerous people saying they are looking forward to shopping at the store.

"I'm a little worried I don't have enough shopping carts. I've got 80 shopping carts. I think that might not be enough," Clark said. "It's a good problem to have."

The store will be staffed by 78 employees, about 20 of which will be full-time workers.

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.

Clark and Leg Up officials are not only hoping to the store will be a hit with Yorkers but are already looking to expand and grow.

"We're already looking for location number two. It's not going to be in York County," Clark said, adding they don't want to saturate the local market with too many stores.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.