New market in town
LeeAnna Beeson wants her 4-year-old to eat fresh green beans, and now she barely has to leave work to buy them.
“I want her to know what produce looks like, not from a can, with no preservatives,” she said.
In late July, Cornerstone Health Care started a farmers market to help its employees get easier access to fresh produce.
The market is outside of the company’s corporate offices at Providence Place. Cornerstone has about 500 employees within walking distance of the market, said Lori Teppara, the company’s health services coordinator.
Though most customers so far have been Cornerstone employees, anyone is welcome, Teppara said.
Teppara, who helped start the market, said the aim is to enable employees to become more health-conscious.
Cornerstone chose which farms and produce companies to invite based on variety, wanting to maximize choices, Teppara said.
Triple L. Farms in Ellerbe sets up at Cornerstone’s market in addition to their Sandy Ridge Farmers’ Market stand. Carlotta Watson of Triple L. said the two stands are not very different in that they bring as big of a variety as possible.
Beeson, Cornerstone’s receptionist, came back the second week because she was impressed with the produce from the first week.
“Everything was so good that I didn’t buy any fruit at the grocery store last week,” she said.
This newest market is part of a trend of health systems opening their own farmers’ markets. UNC High Point Regional runs one on Thursday mornings, and Novant Health in Winston-Salem has a Monday market.
The other stand at Cornerstone’s market, Triad Produce, also sells at the Novant market. Owner Bruce Prevette said that customers enjoy having fresh produce so readily available.
Teppara said their existing stands have such a large variety that they are not looking to expand much.
They would be open to adding specialty stands, Teppara said. Anyone interested in learning more should call Teppara at (336) 802-2652.
At a glance
What: Cornerstone farmers market
Where: Providence Place business complex at 1701 Westchester Drive
The market is right outside of the main entrance, under the portico labeled "Town Center"
When: Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.