The Wild Ramp Food Market will hold a grand opening ceremony Saturday at 9 a.m. as they celebrate a move to a new larger location.
Since opening its doors in July 2012 at Heritage Station in Huntington, the shop that only sells locally grown foods has flourished. With over 100 local farmers, artisans, and bakers producing goods for the market, they have run out of space. So when the city approached the market about moving to a larger location in Central City, Wild Ramp Officials jumped at the chance.
Shelly Keeney is the market manager.
“The community, they haven’t had anything like this before, so yeah it’s going to be somewhat nerve wracking I suppose to help them understand what we’re all about because this is something kind of new and different,” Keeney said.
The new location at 555 14th Street West is in the heart of the Old Central City commercial district will also house a coffee shop. Most of the small commercial area is made up of antique shops, but in the middle is a building owned by the city that’s housed many different businesses. But it’s the farmers market hosted in the back outdoor space during the summer months that’s succeeded long-term. Moving the Wild Ramp naturally fits two needs, more space for the market and a business that the city thinks can help encourage economic growth.
Keeney said she tries not to think about the pressure of leading the charge for Central City.
“I really don’t feel pressure, I think the first time we moved, yeah there was pressure there just not really knowing, but not really any right now other than we want to come into this community and invite them into our Wild Ramp World and honestly we’re just really excited,” Keeney said.
The Tailgate Farmers’ market will continue to run from the outdoor space behind the Central City market building where the Ramp will be located. They’ll operate from the last Saturday in June until the last Saturday in October. The Wild Ramp Board of Directors and volunteers have been working for several months on the move. Jennine Barilla is the President of the Wild Ramp Board. She said there is a level of excitement about what the added space will mean.
“We’ve got so much more space, we’ve got producers that are excited to get down here and be able to bring us more items, we’ve gotten produce coolers donated so we can keep the produce. I think it’s just more of an excitement,” Barilla said.
The Wild Ramp has given more than $400,000 back to local producers. The market has three paid employees and relies on volunteers for staffing. Producers drop off items and sell on a consignment model, getting back 90 percent of the cost while the market retains 10 percent for operating expense.
Krystal Payne is the Operations Manager for the Market. She said they hope there is no apprehension from their current customers on the move.
“I know some of our customers have been a little apprehensive about us moving down here, but I’ve seen in the past month or so people are so excited about our move,” Payne said.
The Wild Ramp will have extended hours at the new location, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 to 4.