Five Points Community Farm Market, a one-stop-shop for locally grown produce, a revolving door of culinary entrepreneurs, and one of the region’s loudest voices calling attention to the many food deserts in our poorer neighborhoods, has announced it will close.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that after 15 years of committed service to the community, the Five Points Community Farm Market will be closing its doors on Sunday, July 16,” Bev Sell, longtime leader of Five Points Community Farm Market, wrote in an email.
The Market will be open this final weekend Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
According to Sell, all of their remaining inventory will be sold to help pay outstanding bills. They will have watermelons, seeded and seedless, cantaloupes and (non-GMO) sweet corn, as well as a variety of produce, eggs, milk, pet food, bulk foods, and more.
“Thank you for your support over the years and come in this weekend to help us sell out,” said Sell.
Current CSA members will not see their orders fulfilled. It has been suggested that they offer the remainder of their accounts as tax-deductible donations to the Five Points 501-c-3 non profit.
Bev Sell is one of my role models. She has been a tireless advocate for those in our community who do not have access to the kinds of healthy food that fuel successful lives.
“It keeps me up at night,” Sell told me in an interview for a column that ran last year, Sound the alarm — Norfolk is in a health crisis.
“I have mothers come to me who say they want themselves and their kids to eat healthy, but they don’t have a car, they work three jobs and Popeyes is right there,” Sell said. “They want to get healthy. They’ve got every reason to get healthy. But they don’t have the access or the wherewithal.”
If you ever met Sell, you would know that it’s true, that this stuff did, and does, keep her up at night. It is heartbreaking to know that the voiceless in our community are losing the platform for one of their greatest champions in Sell.
“Bev Sell is one of my personal heroes and the work she’s done in the community through Five Points is admirable and inspiring,” said Vicki Bahr, who worked with Sell at the Market. “I’ve never known anyone who puts their entire heart and soul into a mission like she has.”
Conversations have already begun among various stakeholders and those in the local food industry about how to keep the mission and spirit of Five Points alive. There are reasons for optimism.
For now, if Five Points has to go away in its current form, it deserves to go out with a great last weekend. If you’ve never been, take this last chance to see what you’ve been missing. If you’re a longtime supporter, help give your friends that run the small businesses in Five Points a lift as they transition to what’s next.
“You’ve made it a fun and often delicious ride,” wrote Bridget Cofo, owner of Pinch Spicery, in her farewell email to customers. “I’ve really loved every minute and I can’t thank you enough for your patronage. Please stop by to refill your spices or pop in for a farewell chat.”
Five Points Farm Market is located at 2500 Church St in Norfolk, a five to ten minute drive from Ghent.