Saturday, May 26, 2012

Local Growers open Gerson’s Garden in Roanoke

News to Know
By Kelly Caldwell

Bill and Siri Wilkinson moved from Delaware in November of 2011
to be closer to his family. The couple opened Gerson’s
Garden Produce and Country Store in May.

 One of the newest businesses in Randolph County wants to supply  the area with fresh produce at reasonable prices.

Gerson's Garden Produce and Country Store, located at 908 Main Street in Downtown Roanoke, is owned by Bill and Siri Wilkinson and opened in early May.

"Our original plan was to open a produce stand closer to our house," Siri said. "But, we had this commercial storefront and we believe in the importance of revitalizing downtown so this made much more sense."

Gerson's Garden, named after Bill's grandfather, offers a variety of produce and eventually will offer locally grown produce from area farmers including the Wilkinson's own garden.

"As our vegetables come in, we will offer them in the store and we are making contact with our local farmers to add to our inventory," Bill said. "And, then we also supplement our stock with produce from the Atlanta Farmer's Market."

Gerson's Garden also offers a little more than just fresh fruit and vegetables.

"We have an eclectic mix of products," Siri said. "And, we will constantly change things because we are trying to find the right mix."

Some of the inventory at the moment includes vintage Pyrex mixing bowls, handmade aprons, local art as well as local honey.

"We have a store that will constantly evolve depending on the seasons and our other inventory will change as well," Siri said.

The couple moved to area six months ago but Bill is not a newcomer to East Alabama.

"I grew up in Clay County until my parents and I moved to Delaware when I was in sixth grade," he said. "They moved back a while ago and honestly I thought I never would come back. But, I guess we all have to eat a little crow sometimes."

The Wilkinsons' began talking in earnest about moving to Alabama in December of 2010 and things fell into place. They bought their commercial building (located across the street from First Baptist Church) in August 2011 and this store is only the beginning of their plans for the space.

"We are excited about being business owners in Downtown Roanoke," Bill said. "We want to do our part here and what better way to do that than open a produce stand with the benefit of air conditioning."

Gerson’s Garden is open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday mornings 9 a.m. until noon.

Produce changes with the season call 334.863.7679 to ensure availability.


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