A fresh idea for Scottville, market will feature local produce and other goods.

February 26, 2015
Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — Scottville has been known as the agricultural center of Mason County for most of its existence. But, it’s been some time since fresh produce has been sold in the town. For a few years the Scottville Main Street program operated a farmers’ market in the warmer season. Seeking volunteer leadership was a challenge, though, and ultimately was one of the reasons the program ended.

Jennifer Miller, who works part-time at city hall, has decided to bring back fresh food to Scottville. She will not only fill a gap of a missing commodity but also will fill an empty building.

In April, Miller’s Market Place will open up in the old Blarney Castle car wash located at the northeast corner of North Main Street and Broadway.

“Everyday I drop my kids off to school and go to work. Several times a day I would see that building sitting empty,” Jennifer said. “I look at vacant places like that and think what could go there that would make sense. I then paired that up with the idea that I love gardening and that I’ve always wanted to be in businesses for myself and the market just kind of blossomed from there.”

Jennifer said as the business launches she plans on being open Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and all day Fridays and Saturdays. The business will be open April through October with a Saturday farmers’ market beginning in June.

“The idea is that I hope when people see activity there they will want to stop and see what’s going on.  I plan on planting a raised bed garden there.” She will also raise produce in her garden at her home in Carr Settlement and then sell it at the market. Jennifer said she plans to also sell locally-raised in season produce from area farms and other gardeners along with crafts, art and baked good items created locally. The market will also hold workshops.

“I really want to teach people how to do things for themselves and I want to feed people fresh food.”

The market has a website (www.millersmarketplace.com) and a Facebook page. Those pages will list events and the types of produce that are available.

“We at the Scottville Main Street are excited that another building will be filled and improvements will be made,” said Heather DeVries, Main Street manager. “But as with any new business coming to our downtown it is so much more than filling a vacant building.  We are moving downtown forward with young entrepreneurs who see a need and are willing to put in the work to make it a reality.  This business in particular is going to help bring much needed fresh produce to out-county residents.

“Working with Jen daily at city hall has made it possible for us to discuss ideas and think around potential problems together.  It has been a joy to see an ambitious person move purposefully step by step to take a long held dream and make it real.  Jen has put in the work, gotten her ducks in a row, so to speak, and we are thrilled to have her as an addition to downtown Scottville.”

DeVries said that while Main Street operating the farmers’ market was a good fit because it brought people into town, encouraging and supporting private enterprise is always the ultimate goal of the program that is partially funded through commercial property tax collections.

Jennifer is holding a meeting on Thursday, March 12, 6:30 p.m. at city hall for anyone who may be interested in becoming a vendor. The meeting is open to gardeners, crafters, bakers and artists. Anyone with questions may contact Jennifer at 231-233-1584 or through Facebook.

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