A look inside the new American Countryside Farmers Market
The big red barn that can be see off the Bypass known as the American Countryside Farmers Market is finally open. It is just a soft open and the space is not completely full but the hope is to get that all sorted out by Labor Day.
?“The concept of being able to have people come in on a regular basis to use it that was something that made me want to try hard to put this together,” says John Levy, President of American Countryside Farmers Market LLC.
Levy shows off three levels of the 65,000 square feet building for retail space and food vendors.
The second level is full of eclectic inventory including televisions, rugs, toothpaste, and even table saws for just $100.
Each item is bought at a discount because of ripped packing or a bent box and this means reduced prices for shoppers.
With planning starting in early 2015 Levy’s vision didn’t come together over night.
“Getting the county to go through all of the dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s took months,” says Levy.
Others invested in this project like Brenda Kyle, a food vendor subleasing space from Levy also wondered about the open date.
“We were very anxious, we kept praying,” says Kyle.
Kyle sells soul food in the food court and her business is called American Sea and Soul Food.
Kyle says the space is a blessing and her cousin Anthony Coleman sees it as a strong symbol to the community.
“Because Brenda is here now allows the community to see that African Americans can start a successful business in this community and prosper,” says Coleman.
Just as eclectic as the items sold in the retail space the food court will be diverse, too.
There is currently a Cajun food vendor open. Greek food, Mexican food, and a bakery will be coming soon.
“It’s quiet a unique experience I think to come here,” says Levy.
Levy says the focus is giving the community what they need.
With Elkhart County’s diversity Coleman hopes the renovated space will bring people together.
“Now we are able to bring that culture difference together and say hey although we may look different we all the same because we all like food,” says Coleman.
The grand opening is scheduled for September 5th, Labor Day.
Normal business hours will be Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.