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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015 3 years ago

The Farmacy opens store in Winter Garden

Formerly just a booth at the farmers' market, the organic grocer now has a permanent location.
by: Catherine Kerr
Cathy and Robby Clay opened The Farmacy so that fresh, local produce would be available in downtown Winter Garden.

It’s an unfortunate predicament: It’s the middle of the week, and you’re running out of the local, organic produce you bought at the farmers’ market on Saturday. But you don’t know where to restock until the next market day.

Residents of Winter Garden don’t have to worry about this situation anymore. With The Farmacy now open downtown, the community has nearby access to health-mindful foods.

“All of our produce is organically grown, and we pull everything locally as much as we possible can,” co-owner Cathy Clay said. “We wanted to create a local food system so that people who live here can actually eat food that’s grown here.”

Clay and her husband, Robby, had a dream a few years ago to start their own farm. But they wanted to try out the lifestyle before jumping in completely, so Cathy started volunteering at a local farm a few times a week. 

The farm had a large supply of kale that wasn’t selling, and the farm owners didn’t have time to harvest it and figure out what to do with it. Cathy didn’t want the kale to go to waste, so she decided to pick it and set up a booth at the Winter Garden Farmers’ Market.

“That was our first day as The Farmacy, and that was about a year and eight months ago,” Cathy said. 

From there, the booth at the market grew to the point that it eventually sold meats, dairy products and produce from about 12 different local farms. Customers kept asking the Clays where their store was because they wanted somewhere to shop during the week. The Farmacy officially opened in early November. 

“It’s way fresher, way healthier,” Cathy Clay said. “Literally, some of the stuff in our store was picked yesterday morning. You’re not going to find that at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.”

Cathy said she and Robby have had plenty of community support from customers.

“The West Orange area, we just have a heart for it, and we feel like we’re supposed to be here,” Cathy said.

Customers can get a discount if they return the glass jar after purchasing granola and other grains.


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