BUNNELL, Fla. – You won’t go many places where you can find a shopkeeper operating on the honor system, but Greg Sims isn’t your modern-day retailer.
Offering up the freshest, locally grown fruits and vegetables at his homegrown honor stand farmer’s market on County Road 305 in the western part of Flagler County, Sims wants to ensure everyone has access to locally grown, high quality nutrition, while supporting the farming families putting their time in the soil.
On Friday he and wife Betty hosted a soft opening for their newest location of Sims Homestead Produce on US 1, and to say shoppers were hungry for the farmer’s market goods, would be an understatement.
“People are so unattached to their food source and where it comes from. Everything is seasonal. Most of the stuff we get are from the smaller farms that don’t have contracts with Wal-Mart and the big grocery stores. If I can get good deals on things, I can pass them on to people,” he said.
Stocked with produce from across Florida, he’s helping solve a problem shoppers have with wanting to support local farmers. The Sims family has even struck up a relationship with the Amish community and have their fresh, homemade goods for shoppers to enjoy.
“We offer state and local produce. We try to source everything locally that we can and within the state of Florida. We also have a connection with Troyer’s which are Mennonites that source Amish goods from all over the United States and bring them to Florida,” shared Sims.
“They have been gracious about working with us, they’ve private labeled all the canned goods that come from Amish farmhouse kitchens and we’re going to try to bring things that are in season when the prices are lower and in bulk that people can come and get. We’re going to be offering more Amish goods. We just got our feet wet with what we have now.”
While it hasn’t always been easy, Greg is persistent and knows his family in on the right path to success with the addition of a second location.
“We’ve been looking for a year, looking for a location. We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” he said. “With land values in Florida it’s very difficult to find anywhere to do anything like this.”
Sims says they will carry additional Amish selections in the near future and continue to expand their seasonal produce offerings while keeping prices low for the community.
“We’re trying to offer something that is not available in this community and that’s all we’re trying to do. Being American is about having choices. If you want to see small businesses and things like this, then we need your support.”
Sims Homestead Produce is located at 1109 N. State Steet (US1) in Bunnell, a few doors down from John’s Towing north of the SR 100 west overpass, and open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.