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Room to Grow

May 3, 2013

A year ago the board members of  The Wild Ramp were on the hunt. We were looking for a space that could make our dream of a year round local food market a reality. Money, as for any start up business, was a huge concern, but our biggest pressure was time. The growing season was upon us, we had producers interested, and we were determined that The Wild Ramp would open during the market season of 2012. A little less than a year ago, May 22, 2012, the lease on the storefront, we all now know and love as The Wild Ramp, was signed.

There were things about the space we loved. There were things we thought had great potential. There were things we knew would be an issue.  Among those concerns was space.  Our volunteer remodeling crew helped to open up that space, but they couldn’t create more space than was already there.

new paint color

We’d seen the spacious rooms at our mentor’s store, Local Roots. We knew the demand for local foods was high. We knew producers were excited about this idea, and we hoped we were right and this thing would take off.

We were. In Do you Eat, Beth shared some of the numbers from the first nine months of business at The Wild Ramp. It has been phenomenal. It has been huge. The space, however, hasn’t grown. Sooner than we anticipated, and even before the busiest part of the season, we are feeling  the cramp.

busy market day

A busy day at the market.

So, The Wild Ramp board is on the hunt again. We’re on the hunt for a bigger space, and this go around the need isn’t so pressing. We have dreams for this market, and if you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big! How about something like this:

SHED, A Modern Grange. Click on the photo to be wowed and amazed by this market!

~sigh~ I am green with envy.

While a space like that may have to be put on our “someday” list. We do have a wish list for things we would like our next space to have.

  • Bigger retail space.
  • More storage and office area.
  • A kitchen for class and possible use by producers.
  • Classroom space for consumer and producer classes.
  • Access for those with mobility challenges.
  • Easier access for producer deliveries, including a loading dock.
  • Convenient location.
  • Space for or nearby for aggregation and distribution to schools and restaurants.
  • Room for a local foods cafe.

We are looking, and we want your help. At this point, we are gathering information about opportunities. We would love your ideas, feedback, and if any of you own the perfect empty space for The Wild Ramp, and  you’d like to donate it, we really want to hear from you!

Please leave comments here, or email wildrampmarket@gmail.com

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda Goldenberg permalink
    May 3, 2013 11:56 am

    How about using the Pullman Car next to you? You could keep the outside character and a small portion of the inside – the small lounge up front could be used as an office. It seems a shame to watch the car rust to oblivion. GHPRD used to manitain it but I think the funding/grant ran out.

    • May 3, 2013 12:04 pm

      Brainstorming (quickly) – it might work as a classroom but not with a kitchen. It wouldn’t work as the office because it is too far from the place where the farmers bring the food and would require them to stop there first, haul things up into the space and then down. Turning it into a cafe certainly would be cute but would need a lot of new plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling, insulation….and probably more than I am thinking of. I’ll throw more minds to it though..thanks for the idea.

  2. Linda permalink
    May 3, 2013 1:20 pm

    are you wanting to stay in Huntington or would Bville be an option?

    • May 3, 2013 1:41 pm

      We have had requests to move the market to areas in Ohio and Kentucky also. It shows how much this market is loved by people who shop there and they want more convenience. However, we do want to stay in Huntington and hopefully in or near downtown. It is centralized and accessible by bus for people who don’t drive. The economic development and health of downtown Huntington is very much a part of our program.

      • emilyjclick permalink
        May 3, 2013 2:53 pm

        I think it’s wonderful that The Wild Ramp is growing so much. As a consumer/shopper, I love it’s present location. I love the feel of Heritage Station and that I can shop at the other stores. For me, that’s part of what makes The Wild Ramp so great. I should also mention that I love the walkability of The Wild Ramp’s present location. I have walked to the book store, Paula Vega cakes, the home and garden show at Big Sandy and other stores around Pullman Square. I am certainly open to change. Just hoping that any new space will incorporate all the wonderful aspects of TWR’s current location. I really like the feel/vibe of the market in it’s present location. I also like the idea that its present location gives traffic to other local businesses. That’s really important to me.

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