Community responds positively to proposed fresh food market


Local fruit, vegetables, grass-fed protein and more could be coming to a new market in Wheeling.

It's a project run by Grow Ohio Valley. The group held a special meeting Wednesday to gain feedback about the proposed market from those who live and work in the Friendly City, and all of it was positive.

“Oh I would definitely shop there, there's no doubt,” said community member Peter Ehni.

“I would be there all the time,” said Ben Lloyd. “It's kind of a unique market too, there isn't really anything else like it in the Wheeling area."

Dozens of people gathered inside of the First State Capitol building to learn more about the proposed Friendly City Public Market that would be located inside of a hallway inside the intermodal transportation center, right in the heart of downtown Wheeling.

It’s within walking distance to those who live in the Boury Lofts, like Ben Lloyd.

“Local meats would be really cool,” he said. “I think it would be cool to get chicken and there's like a little description of where the animal came from.”

The co-founder of Grow Ohio Valley says the market would feature local grass-fed proteins and be a venue for local produce farmers, which appeals to many people in the area.

“One of my interests is to help develop a sustainable Wheeling and this is one way of doing it, having a natural food source year round where folks can get good, healthy food is of interest to me,” Ehni said.

Grow Ohio Valley is in the process of negotiating a lease with the city manager, but the group is actively looking for someone to fill a vista position, helping pull the community-led market together.

“We're really pleased people showed up and more than anything, we want this market to be community-driven,” GOV co-founder Kenneth Peralta said. “What is in it is a reflection of what the community wants."

Grow Ohio Valley hopes to have the market up and running by summer 2018.

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