Mill Spring Farm Store relocating
New location at Arledge’s No. 9 Plaza
MILL SPRING—Reda Harvey and her husband Michael Blackwell are in the process of renovating a space at Arledge’s No. 9 North Plaza to move their fresh food and produce store into. Harvey has owned and ran the Mill Spring Farm Store for the last five and a half years and feels that it is time to move and expand the business.
On Saturday April 20, Harvey closed the store, currently located in the Mill Spring Agriculture Center. Blackwell has been working for several weeks to renovate the new space to prepare for the move. The new location is in the Arledge’s No. 9 North Plaza next to Tangles and Toes hair salon in the former FedEx/UPS drop off station.
Harvey came into the business about five and a half years ago when she took over volunteer ran Farm Store in the Mill Spring Agricultural Center.
“About five and a half years ago I took over the Farm Store and renamed it the Mill Spring Farm Store. The Farm Store was originally a volunteer ran store in the Agricultural Center,” Harvey said. “It was difficult to manage with purely volunteers. I enquired about it and they were looking for someone to lease the building so that’s how I got involved and that’s’ what I’ve been doing ever since.”
Harvey has lived in the Polk County area for nearly 20 years while her husband Michael Blackwell is a Polk County Native. Prior to opening the Mill Spring Farm Store Harvey was a restaurant manager with nearly 35 years of experience in the food industry. Harvey wanted to make a change and be closer to home and more involved in her own community and that is what pushed her to inquire about the Farm House.
“I needed to be closer to home and get involved in a community,” Harvey said. “As a restaurant manager I was working in Spartanburg and Greenville and the job has a lot of physical and mental demands. This seemed like a logical transition for me to get to move into something new and be a part of this community.”
The move into the new space will also allow for growth and development within the business itself. Harvey is very pleased with the reception she has had within the community and of the connections she has made through the Mill Spring Farm Store.
“Over the last five and a half years I have built the business and handled primarily local supplies for our vegetables and meats,” Harvey said. “I added fresh seafood from the North Carolina coast and I am outgrowing the space (old space at the Agricultural Center). I want to move to this new location to continue to provide the community with fresh foods and more options.”
The Mill Spring Farm Store prides itself on the quality and freshness of their products. They have a huge selection of locally raised grass feed meats and locally grown vegetables. Harvey selects the products to ensure that customers are getting the freshest food possible. The Mill Spring Farm Store is operates on a seasonal basis in terms of products carried, “We are based on the season, so our products always change to match the season and what is best at the time,” Harvey said. “I really listen to my customers and want to know what they want. If I know there are multiple people asking for the same thing I will do my best to get it, or get more of it.”
The Mill Spring Farm Store has an email subscription list that sends out weekly product lists. To sign up to be a part of the email notifications patrons just have to sign up while visiting the store during regular business hours. Harvey encourages anyone who hasn’t been to the Mill Spring Farm Store to check out the new location when they open the first week of May.
From May 2 through the 4 the Mill Spring Farm Store will have various vendors set up displaying different products that they carry as part of a grand opening week rather than a single day. Harvey invites the community to the opening event, “Come share our passion for clean eating and healthy lifestyle.”
Once Harvey opens again the store hours will be; Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 10 p.m. to 3 p.m.
—By Samuel Robinson