“LOCAL” MEANS everything to the people at Gammon’s Market. It has meant everything since the beginning. When owner Regina Gammon first moved to Hendersonville, she didn’t know where to shop to get local food. A seed was planted in her mind, and not long after that, she was starting the store and Hendersonville’s own farmers market.
“I love knowing the people behind the food that’s grown for you. So if you can’t grow your food, which most of us don’t, then it’s great to know [you] can get it local,” Gammon said. “We have a great market right here.”
Gammon established the market in 2006, intending to bring the local farmers and the community together. The result, she said, was a much bigger blessing than she could have imagined.
“We wanted to serve the community with some local food, and it kind of grew from that concept,” Gammon said. “We could bring sustainability to our area, support local farms, and help the people connect with our farmers.”
Starting the store came with quite a bit of preparation. Gammon said what she had done in management and leadership roles had prepared her for her new role, but it was still her first business, so she spent a summer working for the Nashville Farmers Market. That experience helped her network with farmers and community members. Then, she said she traveled across Middle Tennessee looking for farmers and artisans to get involved.
“When we opened, I actually drove around and found farms,” Gammon said. “Everywhere I could find a hint of a farm, I would go and just try to meet them and connect.”
Gammon said there may be between 50 and 75 businesses in the store, each one a local farmer or artisan. But local goods are not the only thing Gammon’s Market provides to the community. They also work hard to support those who need it, holding fundraising events and hosting a drop-off box for donated supplies.
“If we find families that need something, we always wrap them up whatever they need and try to help,” Gammon said.
She said they try to give back, and she can do that, even as a small business, because she looks forward to coming to work, being with customers, and helping her staff grow and bloom.
“I don’t feel like it’s a job. I mean, it feels like it’s more of a service,” Gammon said.
All of those experiences have taught her a lot. She has grown in her compassion toward people — especially other small business owners.
“I didn’t really realize how much [the business] would affect that person’s life,” Gammon said. “We need everybody, so we serve people early, and we serve people late. We try to really accommodate people.”
Gammon said the business has been growing steadily. Last year, Gammon’s Market opened a new location in Nashville’s Wedgewood Houston neighborhood.
“It really took being extremely dedicated and consistent,” Gammon said. “I was pretty determined it would make it, and I believed in it so much. I just knew that eventually it would catch on, and every year it grew just a little.”
Gammon said she is always looking for ways for the store to grow and evolve. One thing she would like to have in the future is a space for moms and kids so families have a place to come and feel comfortable. And that kind of growth is possible because of the community.
“When I was so, so small, they really rallied me and encouraged me because you really have to have that, being a small business,” Gammon said. “Those people that walk in that door — I mean, they really encourage you to keep going.”
Gammon said Hendersonville and Sumner County have been growing as well. As people see that, they see there is something special in the area. Gammon’s Market is undoubtedly a part of that, as they connect locals in the community.
“We are so grateful that we get to serve each [person] from all over this state,” Gammon said. “It’s just an honor to be a part of this area.” GN