Southern Fresh Market opens doors in West Bainbridge
Published 7:33 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Kevin and Amanda Rentz like to stay busy.
“What is it you say?” Amanda said looking at her husband. “Too many irons in the fire.”
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Kevin laughed and explained continuous projects keep him sane. The couple’s newest project will keep them busy as they work out the kinks and grow Bainbridge’s newest business, Southern Fresh Market.
The produce shop, which opened Monday, is located in West Bainbridge at 1310 Dothan Road in the Martin Plaza shopping center. The store was once a laundromat owned by Kevin’s grandmother.
“We were looking at [the empty laundromat] for a couple of years,” Amanda said, “and finally had the idea.”
Kevin said that a diversification project on the family farm led to some surplus.
“I was farming already and trying to diversify some of our products,” Kevin said. “This was a way to get rid of some of it locally. A lot of it gets shipped away, and you never get to taste it.”
Southern Fresh Market is stocked with locally grown and Georgia grown produce and also features some packaged goods like Striplings beef jerky and sauces and jams from family farms throughout the state.
“We’re focusing on Georgia-grown as much as we can,” Amanda said. “We’re all about supporting local family farms.”
Amanda said that opening day business was good and reception has been positive. She said she was especially pleased with the Facebook reception and encouragement.
“You never know what to expect, but we had a pretty steady flow of traffic,” Amanda said of the soft opening.
Gutting and transforming the laundromat into a produce store began in January this year, and the family started selling produce at this season’s Bainbridge Farmers’ Market to test the waters.
“It seems like everyone is really into the locally grown trend,” Amanda said of the Farmers’ Market. “I think farm fresh is great. Everybody’s got to eat.”
Kevin said that he and Amanda are looking to slowly expand the products they offer to include breads and other general store-type items.
Southern Fresh Market is open weekdays 9 a.m. — 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. — noon.