The Farmer's Emporium: A West Palm Beach Treasure
Located near the main intersection of Okeechobee and Military Trail in West Palm Beach, Florida is a jewel of a market known as The Farmer's Emporium. Its owners are well known to the customers who shop at the market and they have cultivated a community feel that keeps people coming back each week.
The produce is locally farm-grown fresh fruit and vegtables, but other grocery items such as eggs, honey, bread, candy, crackers, pickles, canned meats and soups are avialable as well. One thing you can count on, the price will be reasonable. Everyone can afford to eat healthy when they shop at The Farmer's Emporium
Why Do People Shop at Farmer's Markets?
Markets have been around since the beginning of time. Before refrigeration existed, people would have to buy their food weekly from vendors who would set up booths to display their produce. In many parts of the world, it was a normal part of life for people to shop daily at outdoor markets. This practice is still the norm for some countries.
My mother used to buy her weekly grocery items such as bread, milk, and eggs from farmers and local grocers who would bring their food items to the home. Although it was not a typical outdoor market, she could shop for produce inside the truck or from baskets to make her selection. The food was fresh and very affordable.
Today, many consumers prefer to purchase food that is not only farm fresh but healthy and organic. They know that the farmer's market provides these food choices on a weekly basis. The cost may be higher in some places, but people believe that the health benefits outweigh the price factor.
Because a middleman is not involved, the produce can be sold at lower prices to the consumer. The produce comes from local growers who take it straight to the market area and either sell it themselves or through a co-op. These farmer's markets help to keep the farmers in business. They are becoming so popular and in demand that many have an online website.
What Makes Farmer's Emporium Special?
Customers who frequent the market enjoy the friendly service. I have seen people ask the employees for a certain fruit or vegatable not out in the bins and the employee will respond quickly to their needs.
A couple of weeks ago while I was doing my weekly shopping, the owner announced that everyone was going to get two FREE cartons of cherry tomatoes. I asked him, "seriously?" He said, "Oh yes, I am always serious!" Someone asked him why he was giving away the produce and he responded that he just wanted to thank his customers for shopping at his place. That is great customer service and savvy marketing!
As I already mentioned, the prices are so reasonable and I can usually get a whole week's grocery (less meats and cleaning supplies) for under twenty dollars. Of course, it is fresh so whatever you buy must be eaten within the week or cooked and stored, or frozen. They usually have about anything you need, but be aware that they do not stock items like your grocery stores because they sell whatever comes in from the farmer that day.
The market is open seven days a week:
- Monday - Saturday: 8 am until 7 pm
- Sunday: 8 am to 5 pm
It is located at 4619 Okeechobee Blvd., just off Military Trail (see map below). If you go, go early so that you can catch the produce as it comes in from the farmers. The only downside to the Farmer's Emporium is the parking. It is always crowded and finding a space close to the store is almost impossible. However, the lot is large and I always park in the back because it is easier to exit.
Overall, if you can find a good farmer's market it is well worth developing a relationship with the establishment. Not only will you get fresh food, but they will cater to your needs and provide you with great service.