Niles farmer's market will have online presence

NILES, Mich. -- Access to local and fresh produce in Niles just got a little easier. Organizers are taking the farmer's market and adding an online component.

If you drive through Niles, you will see a lot of development along Main Street.

"There's a lot of things going on that people don't realize," said Jenny Yarbrough, a Niles resident.

To add more to the community and the economy, a food hub is setting up shop.

"Food Hub is a piece of the whole food system here in Southwest Michigan," said Lisa Croteau, Food Hub organizer.

Croteau is partnering with local farmers and buyers to bring fresh food and products to downtown. But there's a twist.

"We're going virtual. We're going to have both a virtual and a reality site to market," said Croteau.

Not only will Niles have a weekly farmers market, people can now go online, buy whatever they like, and pick it up at the site every Thursday.

"The area has a great agricultural base and we're excited that Niles is going to be able to tap into that agricultural base and really create some phenomenal things," said Tyanna Weller, President of Four Flags Chamber of Commerce.

"It's utilizing technology in a really interesting, fun way. To be able to kind of merge the old farmer's market experience with the new," said Crouteau.

Croteau says this is only the beginning. She wishes to start small and see what heights this online marketplace can take the food hub.

The farmer's market is every Thursday on the corner of Front and Main.


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