‘What are we going to do?’ Mooresville farmers market must find new location

A Mooresville farmers market will have to find a new location after the town voted to kick them off their current property.

In 2021, Josh’s Farmers Market moved onto land next to the Lowe’s YMCA in Mooresville. That’s where the market expanded and began selling seafood, homemade sheds, and even furniture. The YMCA was recently fined about $15,000 because officials claim the farmers market is not seasonal but a full-time retail location that needs its own building.

The town and market have reportedly been working since 2020 to find a new location and have had no luck. Another problem facing the market is the price of retail space; it’s too expensive for the market to afford the full retail space they need.

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The owner of the market, Josh Graham, has been farming with his family since he can remember. A stretch of Joe Knox Avenue is where Graham had sold veggies, fruit, and other items for years.

“I’ve got folks that have been with us for 20-plus years shopping with us,” Graham told Channel 9.

When confronted by officials who said that his market was a full-blown retail location, Graham offered to scale down his production, but the officials stood firm.

“It’s been difficult navigating what they really want,” said Graham.

After months of back-and-forth negotiations, on Tuesday, the Mooresville Board of Adjustment voted to uphold the town’s vote for the market to move. This means that Graham and his 10 full-time employees have to find a new location soon in order to reopen by the spring.

“April comes quick, so that’s really on the front of our mind,” he said. “What are we going to do come April?

Graham hoped that he would be able to set up a permanent location about a mile away from the current location. Unfortunately, due to planned construction work from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the market wouldn’t be able to open for at least a year. Graham says he can’t wait that long.

Graham said he plans to take his appeal to Iredell County Superior Court. For now, the ordinance still stands.

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Although the town voted to kick the market off of the property, neighbors and community members believe it should stay. At this time, Josh’s Farmer’s Market is closed.