Food City purchases produce from a number of local farms
David Mann of Mann Farms in Fort Blackmore has been named the 2021 Wayne Scott Memorial Grower of the Year by Food City, the company announced in a press release on Wednesday.
From that release:
• Food City has partnered with Mann Farms for more than 20 years.
• Mann’s family has farmed in the Fort Blackmore area since 1842, and he has a passion for growing quality produce, working hard to continue to expand his business.
• Mann Farms becomes the first two-time award winner, as it was the first local grower to receive the coveted award back in 2009.
Growth and change
• Mann purchased his first farm in 1983 and began as a dairy farmer, but later transitioned to tobacco. In 1992, he produced his first crop of tomatoes and later added additional crops and began raising cattle. Mann Farms supplies area Food City locations with cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, peppers, a variety of tomatoes, half runner beans and locally grown strawberries.
• David and his wife, Judy, feel blessed to make their living farming and are especially thankful that Mann’s parents, Cecil, who is now 101 years young, and Charlotte, a young lady of 94, have been able to share in their success, along with their two daughters and five grandchildren.
Fresh from the farm to Food City
Food City is well-known for its locally grown produce initiative. Through a partnership with local farmers, the retail supermarket chain offers a variety of fresh-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables during local growing seasons. Many items are delivered the same day they are picked. What began more than 10years ago with a small number of items and a handful of farmers has grown into a multimillion-dollar operation. Today, Food City purchases more than $5 million each year in locally grown produce.
“We pride ourselves in selecting the best possible products for our customers,” Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer, said. “Our local farms are known for producing some of the finest products in the country. Buying local provides our customers with the freshest produce possible, while supporting our local economies. In many instances, our locally grown items arrive the same day they are picked. It simply doesn’t get any fresher than that.”
Food City created the Wayne Scott Memorial Grower of the Year Award in honor of the Unicoi County farmer who was one of the first growers to partner with the supermarket chain.
Scott’s leadership, passion for the business and dedication to delivering the “best produce possible” are just a few of the reasons for his tremendous success. The award recognizes one outstanding grower each year.
Food City purchases produce from a number of local farms, including those in Grainger, Blount, Hawkins, Unicoi, Jefferson and Sullivan counties in Tennessee; Scott and Carroll counties and through Appalachian Harvest co-op for locally grown organics from the growers in Scott County, Virginia.
“We enjoy a great partnership with a variety of local farms,” said Bucky Slagle, director of produce operations for Food City. “And we are proud to be the exclusive retail outlet for a number of them, and of course our customers love the added convenience.”
Food City purchases a wide variety of items from local growers, including tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, cabbage, half runner beans, okra, peppers, squash, gourds, pumpkins, cantaloupes, watermelons, blackberries, strawberries, pears, raspberries, select organic produce and more.
Headquartered in Abingdon, K-VA-T Food Stores (Food City’s parent company) operates 134 retail outlets throughout Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia, East Tennessee and North Georgia, and will soon open stores in Alabama.
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