The Memphis Farmers Market
(MFM) has named a new executive director. Robert Marcy, a longtime MFM volunteer and board member, replaces Rebecca Dull.
Marcy has a long and varied career, which involves working in the neurosurgery department at Baptist and interior design.
Marcy began volunteering at the market, adjacent to the train station Downtown, about nine years ago, he says. His volunteering led him to be asked to serve on the board and then he was named as vendor chair.
Marcy says that in that role he's been "boots on the ground."
"You really need to be in every market interacting with the vendors," he says. "And after six years [as chair], it's just become my family."
Marcy's time on the board had just run out when Dull resigned. Since Marcy trained Dull, he felt equipped to take on the new job.
He scrolls and scrolls (and scrolls) through a list on his phone with all his ideas for the market.
• A pet check, which replaces the pet sitting service and has already been implemented. This involves a tether system that keeps dogs away from each other.
• a customer frequent shopper card
• a vendor mentoring program
• social media training for vendors
• meal kits
• off-site education
• community garden
• an expansion of the Heart of the Market program, which helps vendors in need.
Marcy says the job has energized him. He leaps out of bed in the morning ready to start work implementing his ideas.
"Local food is the reason why we're here," he says. "This is a community gathering place. We want to bring people down here and use it like that. You're not going to get this experience at a national grocery chain."