Wholesale Produce aims to please public
by Matt Shinall
Aug 18, 2011 | 3418 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brenda Faye Cole sacks up some fresh tomatoes at her store, Wholesale Produce Farmer’s Market, off of exit 296 on Interstate Highway 75.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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For Brenda Faye Cole, business is a family affair. Along with her two sons, Jimmy and Peter Casey, Cole has pursued entrepreneurial aspirations by opening Wholesale Produce Farmer's Market.

Getting off the ground last month, Wholesale Produce Farmer's Market sources fruit and vegetables directly from area farms to sell at the 997 Cassville-White Road location just off of Interstate 75 exit 296.

"We just talked among ourselves and wanted to think of a product that would be something worthwhile, especially in times as hard as they are with the economy. We thought, what better product would there be than produce, vegetables and fruit," Cole said. "We decided that this is something that would be good for the public, something that would help everyone."

Cole hopes to supply residents as well as restaurants, offering case prices and accepting EBT cards.

Access to fresh produce is something Cole feels strongly about as an advocate for consuming fresh goods directly from the source.

"Everyone needs fresh fruits and vegetables," Cole said. "The fresher the product, the better it is for the person, for the body. We want to sell good, fresh fruits and vegetables to customers to benefit their health."

A Bartow County native, Cole and her sons find growers from Georgia and Alabama to source produce. At their store, the family members recall recent trips in which they helped the farmer, low on inventory, pick the produce they bought for sale at the store.

"Ninety percent of our produce is directly from the grower, so that cuts out the middle-man and that in turn makes you have fresher produce and we can sell it at the wholesale price," Cole said. "By doing that, we can pass along the savings to our local customers and also to the restaurant owners."

In addition to tomatoes, onions, watermelon and a variety of other goods, Wholesale Produce Farmer's Market offers homemade canned goods from Hillside Orchards in Tiger, Ga. A 12-month operation, the facility will change some offerings as the year progresses including seasonal potted plants and firewood in the winter. Next year, Cole hopes to expand their outdoor section to include a full selection of garden plants along with flowers and hanging plants.

Also offered year round are artificial floral arrangements for gravesites, cemetery saddles and vases. With seasons and holidays, Wholesale Produce Farmer's Market will offer fruit baskets and other gifts.

Wholesale Produce Farmer's Market is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 770-386-0053.