Self Family Foundation once again stepped up with a generous donation that surely will help jump start Uptown Greenwood's planned farmers market off Maxwell Avenue.
It is truly encouraging to witness what continues to unfold in the City of Greenwood. It is a strong spirit of cooperation coupled with a focus on building a successful future for Uptown that produces what took place Monday night at City Council's work session.
That is when it was announced the Self Family Foundation is funding the base salary of a new position, a manager for the farmers market, for the city for the next three years.
Already the prospects for what can be were witnessed with the opening of the small farmers market stands in the parking lot off Maxwell Avenue. Anyone who ventured there during the summer knows what a draw they were.
Some people were not very supportive of the plan to launch a market in the Uptown location, noting the county already operates a farmers market near the shuttered civic center. The city is not interested in competing with that market, but that would not and should not preclude the city operating its own version of a farmers market that serves those who work and live near Uptown. Besides, the Uptown market has a different twist to it, as it includes restaurateurs such as Grits and Groceries providing various prepared foods made with locally grown products. In many ways, the Maxwell location has already become something of a social venue with Jake Bartley and Ashby Stokes performing while patrons shop.
What is taking place in Uptown Greenwood is astounding. Longtime residents need only reflect on what a trip down Maxwell Avenue was like just a few years ago. Storefronts were vacant and, by and large, unless you had business to conduct at one of only a few businesses open there, Maxwell was just a means of getting from one point to another.
Nowadays, however, Maxwell is bustling with activity day and night. Jon Holloway's Sundance Gallery is the site of numerous events, from wedding receptions to meetings to concert series in the evenings. The Mill House is a tremendous success. Flynn's on Maxwell is a great venue for those in search of craft beers and good wines. And the store offers wine and beer tasting events on some evenings. Now Ya Cookin' Store, a secondary location of the JES Restaurant equipment store on Highway 72, opened its doors just before Christmas.
What is taking place is not accidental, not pure luck. Uptown is growing and becoming a destination spot in its own right because people — those in elected and appointed city positions, and entrepreneurs — have a shared vision of what can be, of the potential Uptown has to offer.
Self Family Foundation, thank you for your generosity in funding the market manager's position the next three years. Doing so reflects your faith in what is taking place Uptown and your desire to invest in Uptown's continued growth.