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The Memphis Farmers Market recently announced its latest director Rebecca Dull. She answered a few questions for us.
What are your qualifications?
I graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Communications. Since then, I have volunteered with various nonprofits including Ten Thousand Villages of Austin, Public Relations Society of Austin, Keep Carbondale Beautiful, the Women's Center, and more. Most recently, I was the Assistant Director of Carbondale Main Street, the downtown association. This experience will be relatable to my new position since I worked with small business owners and managed events.
First impressions of Memphis Farmers Market?
I'm thrilled to be a part of the Memphis Farmers Market, I've gotten to meet with our vendors and have been working closely with the board of directors. The downtown location is fantastic and I can't wait to see the pavilion full of customers and vendors!
What are your plans/goals for the market?
I would like to continue to help small businesses grow while providing the community with access to fresh, healthy food at affordable prices. I'm hopeful to continue the tradition that the market is a place for community gathering and would like to partner with nonprofits and downtown restaurants and businesses.
One of the things you're doing is changing the times. Opening at 8 a.m., instead of 7 a.m. What's the reason behind this? Any pushback?
While I can't take credit for the later hours, I can say I'm happy about it. The reason for this is that people just don't come to the market that early. It was becoming too stressful for vendors and volunteers to be ready by 7am when guests and customers weren't arriving much until after 8am. The response to this change has been overwhelmingly positive.
Are you working on anything that involves Memphians' overall diet?
Memphis Farmers Market works with SNAP benefits and Fresh Savings to offer affordable fresh fruits and vegetables to customers with any budget. New this year, we're able to accept Fresh Savings Rx vouchers for SNAP customers with diet related diseases or who are at risk for diet related diseases.
We're also partnering with businesses like Raymond James who have health initiatives to bring our vendors in to speak with their employees about how to prepare and eat fruits and vegetables with specific health benefits.
The 2018 season opens April 7th.