March 2018
Farm & Field

Freshness & Family

Opelika Farmers Market cultivates a commitment to quality with strong family roots and fresh, locally grown produce.

 

Destin King, owner, stands in the Opelika Farmers Market.

Opelika Farmers Market opened 13 years ago to serve a community of customers looking for fresh produce sold by a staff who knew them by name.

The atmosphere of the market is arranged to accommodate a variety of colorful produce and have a downhome feel.

Destin King, owner, supplies his business as much as possible with produce grown by local farmers, including himself.

King’s father started Opelika Farmers Market as a place to sell goods from the family farm.

According to King, the market was a place where he and his siblings, as they grew up, learned the value of hard work.

"He wanted to give his four kids a place to work," King said.

Today, Opelika Farmers Market serves 300-400 customers per day during its peak season in the summer months.

Among the most popular items sold at the market are the shelled pecans the King family grows on their farm near Notasulga.

The King family farm has over 200 acres of pecan trees and they plant more each year. All of the fertilizer used for their crops is purchased at Taleecon Farmers Co-op in Notasulga.

In addition to pecans, the King family also sell produce grown in their two greenhouses.

"The main thing people come here wanting that they can’t get at the grocery store is freshness," King said.

By far one of the most popular items sold during peak season at the market is fresh tomatoes.

"We don’t gas the tomatoes like grocery stores do and our customers appreciate things like that," King explained.

The quality of the King family’s greenhouse crops is passed on to other farmers who buy plants from the Kings.

The farmers who supply the market enjoy a close relationship with the market staff and customers.

As someone who has spent his entire life in the horticultural industry, King knows good produce when he sees it.

"Our farmers know that quality is what sells," King stated.

Opelika has promoted the restoration of its historic downtown, fostering a community mindset of local is better. If it can be bought near Railroad Avenue, it must be the best around.

According to King, Opelika Farmers Market will continue its commitment to quality by keeping its roots in the family aspect of their business.

 

Rebecca Oliver is a freelance writer from Auburn.