By PJ Martin
The Edmonton Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce summer breakfast last Tuesday began with the Business of the Quarter award presented to Minnie’s Southern Café LLC.
The café serves home cooking with a bit of flair. The hot bar offers a special each day that is delicious whether you dine inside, outside, or get it to go.
Owner Brandon Kingrey was unable to attend so the award was accepted by co-owner Ben Taylor who thanked those in attendance for their loyalty and the chamber for sharing their specials in the daily email blast. “Without the support of Edmonton and Metcalfe County, I feel that we would have never grown to be the big success that we are today.”
The sponsor of the summer breakfast was Jacob Chase Garmon owner of Garmon’s Vending Enterprises which is the largest bulk candy delivery in the southern Kentucky area. Since its inception in 2009, the business has grown to 99 locations across 12 counties. “We are always looking to expand to new customers. We offer a 25% commission-based incentive to any business that is interested in our bulk candy vending machines.”
The main guest speakers for the breakfast were Farmers Market Manager Vickie Harris and Market Board Chairman Ken Childers.
The farmer’s market was reestablished several years ago. The extension office wrote a grant for us through the Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture to reestablish the farmers market and thanks to several factors in the community it has taken off,” stated Childers adding, “The extension office has been gracious enough to provide us with facilities through grant opportunities that we’ve gotten.”
Childers noted that the market has doubled in size and volume every year and has about 18 vendors. “We were one of the very few markets in the state that survived through covid.”
Only a few markets didn’t close down and Metcalfe’s survived by offering a drive-thru market for two years. The market also puts all the money earned back into the community minus what little is necessary to keep the market open. The non-profit has only one paid employee and that is the manager which is required by the state.
Manager Vickie Harris began with, “Due to our programs that we do have and our community partners…we are able to put a lot of money back into the community.
She noted that the agents at the extension office worked hard to get the grants that built the larger pavilion for the market and make it exceptional compared to some of the other markets. “We are very, very lucky to have what we have,” referring to the larger pavilion. “The Metcalfe County Extension Office has been so good to us and supporting us.”
“Last year with the community partners, we were able to do over $60,000…that is providing fruits and vegetables to people who might not normally have it,” said Harris. This is made possible by the voucher programs, SNAP, WIC, and the Double Dollars Program.
When the state funding is used up the Community Partners donations of $6,000 enable the market to continue to offer the programs into November and December last year.
“The SNAP Program, that is a fantastic program…if you bring your SNAP card you get $20. We are able match it $20. That’s also with Community Partners.”
“In 2020 we $46,000, in 2021 we did $54,000, and last year we did $60,000, so that tells you the growth of the market due to the support of the community. That has helped the growth tremendously.”
Childers added, “We get a little reimbursement from the state…our Community Partners Program is what makes the community market work. Without them, we would be there, but it wouldn’t be nearly half of what we are.”
The Community Farm Alliance with the Dept. of Agriculture and the community partners Metcalfe County Extension, TJ Samson Community Hospital, Edmonton State Bank, the city of Edmonton, Metcalfe County Fiscal Court, KY Farm Bureau, Peoples Bank of Glasgow, Barn Lot Theater, The Hoss 99.1, The Printing Press, and Metcalfe County School System. “Those are the businesses that keep your farmers market running,” stated Childers.
A customer appreciation night market is planned for August 11th from 5 – 8 p.m. with the Hornet’s Nest Pickers performing, free hotdogs, and bottles of water for the customers.
The delicious breakfast was prepared by Diane’s Cakes and Catering and door prizes were donated by Garmon’s Vending Enterprise.