Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Farmers market joins Dry Ridge outlet stores

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DRY RIDGE — Turnips and cucumbers will be sold alongside Nike shoes and Liz Claiborne clothes at a Grant County outlet mall.

        The Grant County Farmers Market is moving to the Dry Ridge Outlet Center, at Interstate 75 exit 159.

        A July 7 grand opening will feature produce from 25 Grant County farmers, free pizza and soft drinks, chances to win tickets and pit passes to a Kentucky Speedway race and a live broadcast by WNKR Mix 106 radio.

        “The market is going to be great for our local farmers, for shoppers and for the outlet mall,” said Dennis Hancock, Grant County's agricultural extension office.

        The market is a joint project by the farmers and the outlet mall's owners, Sugar Oak Corp, the Herndon, Va.-based company that bought the mall this year.

        The mall's owners are building booths and tents for the farmers, said Wendy Brown, the promotions coordinator for the outlet mall.

        “It's a way to help the farmers and it will bring people to the Dry Ridge Outlet Center,” Ms. Brown said.

        For several years Grant County farmers have been selling produce at a market along U.S. 25 across from a Wal-Mart store.

        But a few years ago the Wal-Mart operation moved closer to the interstate in Dry Ridge.

        “When the Wal-Mart moved, so did about 75 percent of the customers for the farmers market,” said Dennis Hancock, of Grant County's agricultural extension office.

        Mr. Hancock said the new market will continue to honor vouchers available to Grant County residents on WIC, or Women Infants and Children.

        WIC participants can pick up a $2 voucher at the Grant County Health Department.

        Other farmers markets in Northern Kentucky operate in Burlington, Southgate, Newport and Highland Heights.

        The farmers market will open at 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Saturday and stay open until the produce is sold, said Wendy Brown, promotions coordinator for the outlet mall.


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