Story: Kathryn Winter | Photos courtesy: Chicory Market
What started as a farm stand has grown into a grocery store offering local and fresh produce. Chicory Market in Oxford, MS, has become a hot spot for locals looking to support farmers in the region. Chicory Market owners John Martin and Kate Bishop have always had an interest in food, local produce and sustainable farming. The store is a full-service grocery; produce not raised in the Mid South, like mangos and avocados, is sourced from other organic growers. Martin says the store’s concept is very similar to that of Whole Foods.
“We found out that the farmer’s market was closing and so my wife and I decided to move back to Oxford to take it over,” Martin says. “We re-branded and re-opened it as Chicory Market and now we work with over 75 local farmers and food makers from Oxford and Memphis, including Native Son, Bluff City Fungi, Clear Creek Produce, Marmilu Farms and Rose Creek Farms outside of Jackson, TN.”
Bishop is originally from Oxford and the couple lived in the Delta for a while. While in New York, they volunteered at farmer’s markets and were involved with the impact of fresh produce within their community. “This is a place to find local produce, a community space, people of all segments and backgrounds come to mingle and get fresh food at reasonable prices,” Martin says.
All the summer fruits and vegetables are starting to arrive, like Clear Creek strawberries and pickles, slicers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes and herbs from Homestead Farms. Chicory Market stocks produce seven days a week.
The market also stocks fresh herbs and supplies milk from Brown’s Dairy Farm, as well as beef from Home Place Pastures and fresh beans from Heartbreak Coffee. Other goodies include Sweetgrass Dairy brie-style cheese, Rosecreek Farms field greens, heirloom Cherokee purple tomatoes from St. Bethany Farm in Pontotoc, MS, and cherry tomatoes from Salad Days Produce in Flora, MS.
Shoppers find a wide selection of fresh seafood, as well as cold shrimp by the pound from the Shrimpman. Other local favorites include fresh eggs, lamb chops, ground pork, 7-D Farm bread and Mississippi-grown rice from Two Brooks Farm, which is gluten free, non-GMO and vegan. Those on restricted diets will find a number of vegan condiments, snacks, and other prepared foods available in the market. Chicory also features a counter where shoppers can treat themselves to fresh juice, coffee and sandwiches.
The market’s kitchen, opened in April, offers catering for football games, graduations and other local events. Martin says they hope to open an outdoor seating area and offer beer along with other craft beverages this summer.
Chicory Market is open 7 days a week, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It is located at 274 Co Rd 101 in Oxford. Check the market’s Facebook or Instagram page (@chickorymarket) for updates and produce offerings, which change daily.
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