The Mill Spring Farm Store: A community-motivated businessPublished 10:11am Monday, September 30, 2013
One year ago Reda Harvey of Columbus was working as a restaurant manager at the Longhorn Steak House in Greenville. Harvey said she always had a dream to open a country farm store and pay homage to community farmers. Her dream came true when Patrick McLendon, director of the Mill Spring Agricultural Development and Community Center, handed her the keys to the Mill Spring Farm Store.
After more than two years of organic growth, the ag center had reached a milestone of becoming self-sustaining. So, the Polk County Soil & Water Conservation District board members decided then it was time to transfer ownership of the store.
“We realized that we were successful with regard to our vision and objectives and wanted to concentrate more on our overall mission,” said Sandra Reid, district administrator.
The mission of the center, according to Reid, is to serve as a resource for agricultural development, education, community service, farmland preservation and business development. Reid said the objective of the farm store was two-fold, to provide a market venue for local farmers and attract people to the ag center itself. The store acts like a magnet, Reid said, bringing customers while showing off the other offerings the center provides.
McLendon said Harvey is perfect for the job because of her enthusiasm and experience in the food business.