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Tomato Land To Close This Month

Ashley Tressel

Tomato Land Farmers Market is closing. But it’s not for lack of business.

The nearly three decades old market is folding its stands this month. Owner Butch Reagan says business is great, but the land he leases on Thomasville is being sold. There are unconfirmed reports that the neighboring Whole Foods shopping center needs another access point. Reagan says open air markets like his are a thing of the past. Some of his customers have been shopping at Tomato Land for 25 years. He says they’re like family.

“They really hate to see us go, but most of ‘em are understanding, you know, they know, hey, times they be a’changin’,” Reagan says.

One of his suppliers, Morgan Willie, says he wishes Reagan would relocate and keep Tomato Land open.

“I’m gonna miss him, ‘cause he sure was a good help to me," Willie says. "As far as buying produce from me, fresh produce, so I don’t know what Imma do now. The community’s gonna miss him.”

Willie and his wife own a farm in Havana. He says they might open their own stand now that their biggest vendor is closing. Reagan says he’s turned down offers to relocate his market. He plans to spend more time in his hometown, Cairo, Georgia. Tomato Land will stop selling produce after March 11. 

Ashley Tressel is a senior Communication and English student at Florida State University. Before WFSU, she interned at the Executive Office of the Governor and The Borgen Project, a national nonprofit for global poverty. She also wrote freelance for Carbonated.tv, a multimedia news site and served as managing editor for the FSU International Programs magazine, Nomadic Noles, in Valencia, Spain. After graduation, Ashley plans to embark on her journalism career somewhere in Colorado.