The Wild Ramp food market will open in
downtown Huntington at Heritage Station later this summer. The store will offer
a wide variety of fresh, local fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and eggs as
well as the works of local artisans.
Groups like Create Huntington, Unlimited
Future Inc and Huntington’s
kitchen have played a large role in moving the effort to open a facility along.
Renovations are being made at the space
at Heritage station. The hope is to get farmers and suppliers from the local
area of West Virginia,
Ohio and Kentucky involved to
supply the food and art. Stacey Garrett is on the board for the Wild Ramp and said
it’s an idea that had been floating around Huntington for a while.
“We had a group of Marshall University
students that were doing a sociology project and that got the community talking
about this idea again which everybody had kind of been talking about for years,
but that just gave us the push that we needed and we decided if we had to start
somewhere it made sense to start with an actual market,” Garrett said.
Those students were Lauren Kemp, Christa
Galvin and Kelly Wiley. Garrett said the interest in the market shows it’s
something Huntington needs.
“Our city doesn’t have anything like
this at all, we have a few farmers markets, the Central City Farmers market and
the Putnam County farmers market which isn’t really near our city, we don’t
have access to local food unless we meet with farmers or they bring the food to
use somehow or we go to the farm,” Garrett said.
Garrett volunteered to help get the
market going through her work with Create Huntington. The market will operate
year round as a community-supported market, providing an economical outlet for
local food producers while providing consumers access to local products. Garret
said the market will serve as somewhere farmers and producers can bring their
items to be sold, but don’t have to take time out of their day to sit with the
“We have 15 farmers right now that have
signed up, mostly because provides a viable economic opportunity for them they
can bring their stuff, they can let us sale it for them and they can go back to
the farm and produce or go do whatever else it is they need to do,” Garrett
The renovations have been done by
volunteers from the community. Gail Patton is Executive Director of Unlimited
Inc and a member of the Wild Ramp Board and said the volunteers have played a
“Since the end of May we have logged
over 2,000 volunteer hours for this project and if you count the value of those
volunteer hours because some are architectural hours, some are electrical hours
by an electrician, contractor hours by contractors amounts to well over
$30,000,” Patton said.
Patton said a local food market is just
a step among many in promoting healthier lifestyles in the community.
“I like to say it’s important to have
everything including the fresh food available, but then you have to have the
education and the cooking classes like they offer at Ebenezer, you have to
teach people how to grow their own food in their backyards, we can’t have
enough encouragement to change lifestyles,” Patton said.
Garrett and others on the board expect
the Wild Ramp to have a soft opening July 9th.