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Posted: February 10, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Local couple plans new produce store

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Christina and Andrew Norman have been working on opening up a new fresh produce store in what was once the historic Oil Thrift store on Floyd Street in the early 1900s.

"We have been working on it since the beginning of the year," Christina said. "We've came such a long way. I can't wait to see how far we will go once the business officially opens."

Christina and her husband Andrew first came up with the idea after becoming recently unemployed. They started growing heirloom tomatoes for their family and friends. The term heirloom means that the product is in its natural state without any chemicals added to it that changes its color or form.

"It was the product that brought us to fame, you could say. From there we started growing different things and traveling to different farmers markets to sell our items," Christina said.

"We were able to start selling our products in Atlanta. Andrew had a few contacts that he was able to get in touch with that was willing to sell not only our fresh produce but our jams and sauces as well," Christina continued.

"We finally decided it was time to stop traveling and to set up a permanent place for our business. We choose this location after many of our customers suggested it to us. Once we checked it out for ourselves, we knew it was that perfect place," she continued.

Since then, the Normans have been at work getting the place ready for their March 1 opening day.

"Right now I have been constructing like crazy trying to get things ready," Andrew Norman said. "I'm actually thinking we might be able to open sooner, but it depends on things keeping going the way they are now."

"Our goal is to be able to bring more awareness about fresh heirloom vegetables to the county. We also want to be able to involve as many local farmers as we can to sell their products here as well. We are currently accepting applications for a cheese maker and farmers who would like to sell beef and chicken as well," Christina said.

Along with their heirloom tomatoes and other heirloom vegetables, eggs, bread, and even flowers will be sold as well. The prices for the products are a little higher than they are in the grocery store, but the quality makes it worth it in the end according to the Normans.

"This is a new and scary experience for us, but I think it will be worth it in the end," Christina said about starting her own business. "I believe that everything is going to go smoothly in the end."

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