Auburn alumna Bradley Robertson never thought she would end up as the owner of a farmers market. After graduating with a degree in communications, she went to work on Capitol Hill before she found her way back to Opelika, Alabama.
“I knew I wanted to do something that was super interactive with people and that I could stay busy,” Robertson said.
Robertson’s husband is a farmer who grew a lot of produce in the summer of 2015.
“My husband said, ‘I really think that we should try to sell produce under the oak tree,’” Robertson said.
Because they had grown so many peas, Robertson started marketing them on Facebook.
Seeing their success, Bradley’s husband had the idea to build the store. Four months later, on June 16, 2016, the Robertsons opened George’s Farmers Market.
“As soon as we put it out there for our friends and for the social media world, we immediately had support,” Robertson said.
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Robertson started promoting the store online before it opened.
Her first post was during construction, with her three children wandering through the posts that would later hold up the store.
“It was when I first began learning about the power of social media,” Robertson said.
Her husband and two other close friends built the store from the ground up in seven weeks.
Now, George’s Farmers Market is a true market for local growers, food makers and cattlemen. The Robertsons work with about 30 local people for their store.
“The time of the year when we have the most stuff that we grow is spring, summer and fall,” Robertson said.
Robertson said when consumers shop local, they are really supporting and directly impacting a family.
“You can visually see our family and visually see where your money is going,” Robertson said. “You’re having an effect on all these different markets, and it’s all local people. It’s people you see, it’s people you know.”
For Robertson, the most rewarding part of owning a farmers market is being able to feed others and her own family with good, wholesome food.
“Anybody can go to another store and get food,” Robertson said. “We’re feeding people with kindness, we’re feeding people with vision, we’re feeding people with our land and we’re feeding people with positive energy.”
Robertson said she is happy to be in her line of work.
“We thoroughly love it and enjoy it,” Robertson said.
Robertson makes sure to have a family atmosphere at her farmers market. She and her husband have their children with them while they work.
She said it’s fun for the kids because they are able to play, too.
Robertson said she enjoys being able to be around people as part of her job and meeting the different locals that she and her husband work with who keep their business running.
“The greatest thing about owning a farmers market is just the people,” Robertson said. “Serving the people, loving people, giving them good food.”
Robertson said the market has been a privilege for them to own.
“We don’t take for granted what we have,” Robertson said. “We feel like we are just being stewards of what we’ve been given.”
She said the people they work with and their customers are their priority.
“We are stewarding our land so it can be enjoyed by anyone,” Robertson said.
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