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Supporter Spotlight: Ramsey's Produce
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Jim Ramsey leaves for the State Farmers Market in Forest Park at 5 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Arriving at the market 30 minutes later, he spends the next couple of hours loading up produce, then gets back to Ramsey’s Produce by 9 a.m., just in time for the store to start its day.

After retiring from Kroger in 2004, Ramsey leased a lot at 1158 Usher St. from a cousin, former mayor Sam Ramsey.

The store began humbly, selling just a few items.

Soon, Ramsey’s diversified, offering items including watermelon, cantaloupe, Vidalia onions, tomatoes and different types of potatoes. Locally grown tomatoes are Ramsey’s most popular sellers.

During winter, cold weather takes its toll on the business.

Ramsey’s does not open if the temperature dips below 35 degrees.

According to Ramsey, the weather affects the produce industry: Prices often double, if not triple.

"One day last week I picked up some tomatoes that cost me $17 a box," said Ramsey. "Two days later, it was $30 a box."

"It’s not a balanced market right now," he said.

"It will be April before we see a change in prices and quality."

Ramsey also sells wholesale produce to a few local restaurant. He plans to sell to a few more but will continue maintaining the current workload.

"I don’t want to work myself to death," he said.

"I got this to have something to do in my retirement, and I’m working harder than I did before."