CONWAY, Ark. — We're very happy to report that in just 30 days, the community rallied together to help raise more than $150,000 so Bell Urban Farm could open the first local foods grocery store in Conway!
The next step is to renovate an old farmhouse on the property. They already have the plans drawn up and we can't wait to watch the progress.
Imagine walking into a grocery store where everything on the shelves is made by Arkansans for Arkansans.
Well, this is the dream of one local farmer and you can help make that dream a reality.
It's like a farmers market year-round and in-doors! That's exactly what Kim Doughty-McCannon said her vision is for Bell Urban Farm, but she can't do it on her own.
"We just want to provide our community access to these local foods year-round," she said.
Even on a rainy, gloomy day, it isn't hard to see the beauty on 2011 Tyler Street.
"This old house was built in 1957. It was owned by a lovely family called the Bartley's," McCannon said.
Fast forward to 2012 when Kim and her husband, Zack, bought the land.
Five years later McCannon said her family decided to plant the same roots the legacy of the property left.
"I can't believe this is my job. I love getting to grow things every day. Grow beautiful flowers and share them with the community," she said.
Bell Urban Farm in Conway is on its fourth growing season.
McCannon said they sprout up cut flowers, micro-greens, veggies and even have chickens and bees in the back.
"It's important to reconnect people with what's in season, how to grow your food, how it just tastes so much better and is so much more nutritious for you," she said.
McCannon said her hope is to connect people to locally grown food and provide a space for Arkansas artisans.
"There's no place here in Conway really that you can get local food all week long," she said.
McCannon said getting the land rezoned was the first step in the process.
Next, comes the challenge of physically turning this building into a community grocery store.
"Now it's just the renovation phase is very costly and that's what phase we are in right now," she said.
So the countdown begins to raise 57 thousand more dollars over the next 10 days.
Money that will not only contribute to one farmer's dream but help farmers across the state.
"I just hope to have this great space for the community where we can sell local products," McCannon said.
Bell Urban Farm has until March 19 to get to its goal of $150 thousand.
You can donate and learn more here.