Rutland’s Old Town Farm Market is in the hands of an apple and banana nibbler. And his name is Will Hawkins.
“(My favourites are) for sure bananas and apples,” he said. “Everyday I’m gnawing away on something.”
The grocery store, which has been operating for over a decade, was bought by Hawkins, 48, around a year and a half ago when the previous owners retired.
“I was looking for a business and it happened to come up,” Hawkins said. “I was looking all over the place.”
Old Town Farm Market prides itself on supplying fresh produce that also supports locally-grown goods.
“Our product is not sitting around. As soon as they bring it in, we’re (stocking the shelves),” he said.
The market also deals with farmers directly and buys fruit directly from the source. There are mangoes from Mexico and kiwis and apples from New Zealand among the aisles of fruit.
Business in Rutland is growing along with its demographics, Hawkins said, and the growth of the suburb has established a sturdy bottom line for the store.
“The more dense the population becomes, the better we are as a local market,” he said. “People want flavour and freshness and they want it as close as they can get it to them.”
Hawkins comes from a line of produce professionals. He said his family has always owned grocery stores and that family history carved his path into the industry.
He owned a store on Vancouver Island before moving to Kelowna 12 years ago. He said he always wanted to manage a store like the one he has now.
Old Town Farm Market is located at the intersection of Highway 33 and Hollywood Road. It is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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