By RACHAL PINKERTON
QUINCY — Every town needs a space where family, friends and neighbors can congregate and enjoy each other. In rural America, that space can come in many different forms.
Larry Jones, of Quincy, noticed that his town was lacking a large public space and came up with a plan. He, along with his wife Janet, would build a public market that would serve as a public gathering space, as well as showcasing Quincy products and businesses.
The Quincy Public Market opened for business at the end of May with four businesses and has added more since.
“We’ve been handicapped by construction,” said owner Janet Jones.
Currently, the public market houses Sip, a coffee shop owned by the wife of a local crop duster. In the near future, they will also be roasting coffee in their adjacent shop, Stick and Rudder. Both shops are available at their stand alone coffee shop at another location in town.
Local business, The Flower Basket, has added a second location in the public market.
“They’ve stretched out into commercial here,” Jones said. “They’re trying to adjust to what the town is needing and wanting. They do weddings.”
Barbs, a business that has been in town over 45 years, has moved into the market. The store carries women’s clothing and accessories.
Another longtime business, Jones of Washington Winery, moved their tasting room from a small corner of their warehouse into the market. The move has allowed them to double their space and add an outside patio.
“We love it here,” said Carrie Akright, from the tasting room. “We so love it here.”
Several new businesses have started in the Quincy Public Market.
Country Fresh Market was started by Jones as a way to sell their own produce and the produce of other local farmers.
“We have an orchard,” Jones said. “We have 11 different varieties and carry all of our own apples. We bring them straight from the farm during harvest.”
They also carry local beans, popcorn, potatoes, onions and shallots. Seasonal produce is available. In the near future, they will be adding more specialty food items and food for on the go.
“We are kind of modeling it after the European model where you can get smaller amounts of things that are fresh,” Jones said. “We’re going to try to keep local produce prices low.”
Another low priced item are their $1 kids cones.
“We have done fabulous with our ice cream,” Jones said. “The grown ups are liking it too.”
Pink Oven Bakery is another new business that started in the market. A Quincy-grown girl owns the bakery.
“They are famous for their cinnamon rolls,” Jones commented. “They are the best here anyway.”
The Jack’s Restaurant is another new business. The restaurant, also owned by Jones, has both a family side and a taproom. It has a conference room that can hold up to 40 people and has the option for overflow.
Ancient Lake Brewery will be opening soon and will be on tap in the Jack’s Restaurant. The brew master is a former teacher of the Quincy School District.
So far, the Quincy Public Market has been a success.
“Quincy people are really nice,” said Jones. “We don’t get to see each other very much. We want this public space to be public. We want people to enjoy this. We have free wifi. People hang out here. A family has brought in board games. Groups have meetings. People have come over and over (to the restaurant). They are so supportive. They tell us that they are glad somebody did this. Quincy is growing. I think we were ready for this.”
The Quincy Public Market will be hosting their official grand opening on Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The market is located at 1004 F Street SW, in Quincy.
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at email@example.com.