Germaine Jenkins, founder of Fresh Future Farm, shows off eggs laid in the on-site coop and sold in the farm store, which celebrates its first anniversary this year. Photographs (2) by Margret Wood
May 10, 2017
Fresh Future Farm sells affordable, fresh-as-it-gets fare in the midst of a local food desert
written by Molly Ramsey
Back in October 2014, the first seeds of Fresh Future Farm—a .81-acre farm located in North Charleston’s Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood—were sewn. Visit the land today and you’ll see towering banana trees, stately sugar cane, and lush beds of veggies alongside picnic tables, an observation bee hive, and a coop of 20 happy hens.
The minute eggs are collected and produce harvested, it’s all hauled a few feet away to the farm store that opened last May, offering fresh fare to residents of the neighborhood—a USDA-certified food desert. In addition to fruits and veggies, the store offers grocery staples (from cereal, nuts, frozen seafood, and salad dressing to toilet paper, soap, and air filters), as well as items for those with food allergies.
“We’ve surpassed $40,000 in sales,” says CEO and director Germaine Jenkins, who runs the whole operation with help from three employees. “But I need to double our monthly intake to cover the cost of keeping the store stocked, paying utilities and employees, and hiring more people.”
The next major goal? Finding corporate sponsors to help them build a commercial kitchen, says Jenkins, who’s eager to make Lowcountry-style frozen dinners for those who want to “eat healthier, culturally relevant meals, but don’t know how to cook or don’t have time.” Among myriad other uses, the cook space could also host area entrepreneurs. For example, “There’s a lady who makes rockin’ red rice; she could process it here and sell it herself as well as in the farm store,” Jenkins explains. “It all feeds into creating opportunities in Chicora-Cherokee.”
Fresh Future Farm offers plenty of opportunities for learning and lending a hand—to find out what’s going on this month, click here.