Mobile Market a Rural Success
During spring and summer, the introduction of the “mobile market” concept at Perry Wellness Center has increased the center’s outreach to surrounding counties. Periodic visits have been made to Buena Vista (Marion County), Ellaville (Schley County), and Montezuma (Macon County).
PR director Mulkey McMichael explains: “This idea started when we wanted to increase awareness of Perry Wellness Center. We chose to offer plants and produce to area citizens, coupled with a printed message on the origin and mission of Perry Wellness Center. We have been pleased and surprised at the number of citizens in nearby towns who already shop at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market and who know the mission of the center.”
The markets have been quite successful, but staff have learned that they require some specialized planning, beginning with publicity. Newspaper ads and display posters have been the primary modes of advertisement for the mobile market, along with Facebook.
In addition to publicity, other concerns include weather projections. Before each trip, the morning weather forecast is double-checked. But that method is not foolproof. On a recent stop in Ellaville, the weather seemed fine for the first few hours, but a sudden front rolled in, bringing thunder, lightning, and rain. Even though the site was filled with customers, lightning closed the mobile market by mid-morning.
Another consideration in mobile market preparations is the goods for sale. The first mobile market primarily featured plants and shrubs, but the markets have now expanded to include farm-to-table produce grown by local farmers.
Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry notes, “Our reception in these smaller communities has been wonderful. We want to carry the message about Perry Wellness Center, as well as provide plants and produce to local citizens.” He is already thinking ahead to the coming seasons. He plans to visit area towns with early Christmas trees from the Americus center’s own Christmas Tree Wonderland, confident that this added convenience will be well received.
At Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, that’s how they roll.