Residents have a new place to shop in Bend for locally-sourced products with the opening of Central Oregon Locavore's market.
“The ease of access is huge," said Nicolle Timm, the nonprofit's executive director. “I know lots of community members who are committed to local food ... They're driving all over the place to get the food. Now they can just come to one place."
Locavore has operated an online market since April 2010. But after receiving requests from the community, Timm decided last spring to open a brick-and-mortar store.Months of fundraising brought in $10,000 to put towards purchasing a location for Locavore.
Timm said the new 3,200-square-foot building at 1216 N.E. First St. will operate year-round. It will also serve as a distribution point for online orders and offer event space for local groups to rent.
The market opened Jan. 30, and nearly 200 Central Oregon producers have their products for sale, ranging from Fields Farm and DD Ranch to Sara Bella Upcycled and Phat Matt's Brewing Company.
“When we're looking to fill the market, it starts here in Central Oregon, what grows here ... or what's produced here," she said. “Then we'll move out from there and find the closest sustainable source, and we'll bring that in."
In addition to offering consumers a convenient outlet for locally sourced food, Timm said the store lightens the burden for farmers.
“This allows them to get their product out there to the community in a way that does not require them to do active marketing, distributing," she said. “They need to be working on the farm ... If we can help them by marketing, educating, distributing, having a place they can just bring their product, they can maximize their productions on the farm and focus on that."
Mike Duggan, owner of the DD Ranch, said having his products at Locavore's store will increase his sales and make buying his meat, vegetables and other items easier for customers who don't necessarily want to drive to his ranch in Terrebonne.
“We have all this beef out there ready to sell, hogs and lamb ... We sell honey, lots of potatoes and during the season, we do the corn, onions and garlic, carrots and (other) produce," he said. “I bring it to one spot, and it works out real good for me."