PETERSBURG, Va. -- A mobile produce market in Petersburg featuring produce from Virginia farms is giving the community access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
POP Market, which stands for Petersburg Offers Produce, already has a loyal following.
"Every Friday that they pop up here, I'm first customer here -- or try to be anyway," said Marquel Bugg, a frequent market shopper. "The produce is so fresh."
The weekly mobile market is parked on alternating Fridays between Halifax and Harding streets and in front of the Petersburg Library on W Washington Street.
In operation about a year, POP Market Manager Cheryl Bursch said one key to their success is buying from local farms.
“Cucumbers, these are out of Dinwiddie County, as well has the spring onions from Dinwiddie County and this is in Hanover County," Bursch said pointing to some sweet potatoes. "Mustard greens, smooth kale and spinach from Warsaw."
Dolly Holmes is a frequent customer to the Saturday Farmer's Market in Petersburg, but discovered the Pop Market for the first time Friday.
"I really believe in supporting our local farmers, and our local economy and I also think that local food is more nutritious," Holmes said.
Morgan Maxwell, PhD, who runs the Petersburg Health Options Partnership that oversees the POP Market and Saturday Farmer's Market, agrees with Holmes.
“Having this option, pop up in the neighborhood is just really beneficial for the community," Maxwell said. "Many folks here have health issues and so having the option to come to a neighborhood pop up market, to select such beautiful, nutritious and healthy food, is such a tremendous asset for this community."
For neighbors like Michelle Murrills, access to fresh vegetables is not something she takes for granted.
"It’s very important because there isn’t really any place that you can just get fresh vegetables and fruits like this," Murrills said.
Diehard POP Market fans like Marquel Bugg admit that you can buy vegetables elsewhere, but there is a caveat.
“Yes you can, but not as fresh as that," Bugg said. "Yes you can [taste the difference] and my vegetables last longer."
POP Market will be open on more days during the week starting in May. And as the months change, so will the local produce they sell.
Follow POP Market on Facebook to find out what vegetables they are offering.