A Fresh Alternative

Bakers open Traderbaker’s Farm Market to promote fresh products

The couple hopes store will help area growers as well

LA GRANGE, Ky. (November 2016) – Jeff Baker said he felt the time was right to open a farm market in La Grange. His goal is to provide more year-round options for fresh produce and beef for local shoppers.
One of his main products will be “our fresh beef off of our farm,” said Baker. He and wife, Patti, raise grain fed, all-natural beef on their farm in the northern part of Oldham County.
Twenty-two years ago, the couple “used to own a meat market.” Baker then went into the flea market business and now owns 13 Traderbaker stores in the region.
Traderbaker’s Farm Market opened Oct. 7 and carries products by 40 vendors who are Kentucky Proud members. Baker buys from the vendors and sells the products in his store, located at 1800 S. Hwy. 53, in what was formerly a bank building.
He said the location is “a great location on a busy highway.” Located between bigger chain stores and groceries like Wal-Mart and Kroger, Baker said he wanted to be close to these other businesses and offer alternative, fresh products that are grown locally. “I’m going to try and buy as much local produce as I can.”

Photo by Don Ward

Patti and Jeff Baker pose in front of the meat counter inside their newly opened Traderbaker’s Farm Market.

Open year-round and every day but Sunday, Traderbaker’s Farm Market stocks a butcher meat counter filled with local meat from Baker’s farm, chicken fresh from a local Amish farm and Chelsey’s Eggs from Pleasureville, Ky. Baker said he will also offer a range of wild game, such as rabbit, bison and fresh turkeys.
There are also side dishes in the butcher case to complement the fresh beef and deli meat. Fresh produce, dog treats, soaps, soy candles, snacks, fresh bread, jams, jellies and fall mums outside are all Kentucky Proud products offered by local farmers from Oldham, Henry, Shelby and Carroll counties. There are even products from farmers in Winchester and Owensboro, but Baker said he wants to keep offerings as local as he can.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for him and other farmers to get their products to consumers,” said Traci Missun, Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent for Oldham County. “Many folks do take advantage of local farmers markets in the county, but sometimes the consumer’s schedule is not flexible enough to make it to a market location when it’s open.”
Having such a store that “carries local farm products will provide consumers more opportunity to buy products,” she continued. “And locating the farm market store close to the grocery store in La Grange will possibly make easier access for consumers, too.”
Missun said the store will be different from local Farmer’s Markets in that it “will be a store location that’s open many more hours than a typical farmer’s market location. Our local farmers markets are now only available on Saturdays. This hopefully will provide more access and convenience for consumers.”
Baker said his Farm Market will not compete with the local seasonal Farmer’s Markets. “It’s just another option with a variety of products.” His business provides fresh alternatives in winter as well, for both consumers and vendors, when local Farmer’s Markets are closed.
During the upcoming holiday season, Traderbaker’s Farm Market will offer party trays and gift baskets. The business is a “work in progress,” Baker said.
When Baker took his idea to the Oldham County Cooperative Extension office, Missun said she “shared with producers in Oldham County that Jeff was looking for farm products to buy and/or for producers to place products in his store for sale.” This could give producers “new outlets for their farm products, which is always a great thing. If I can help producers increase sales or save money on top of helping them with production practices – that’s what it’s all about.”

• For more information, call (502) 265-7377.

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