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Farmers Market Bites the Dust Due to Drought

Owners James and Ella Perry said the Warren County Farmers Market was their whole world. But rising local produce prices, brought on by the drought, is forcing the mom-and-pop shop to close.

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WARRENTON, N.C. — The drought is causing the Warren County Farmers Market to shut down. The owners said they can't keep up with rising produce costs brought on by a lack of rain in the area.

Owners James and Ella Perry said the Farmers Market was their whole world.

“This is more than a business to me. It's a privilege to serve the people,” James Perry said.

“It's more or less like a friendly, meeting-and-greeting-people (place),” Ella Perry said.

The Perrys have run the mainstay produce shop for five years, but Thursday they will close up shop for good.

It is “on account of the drought,” Ella Perry said.

The Perrys buy their goods from area farmers. The farmers have increase their prices, which forced the Perrys to drive up theirs, which the Perrys said goes against everything they stand for.

“A farmers market should be a lower price,” Ella Perry said.

Even with "a little, small increase, you really get a lot of criticism when you try to sell it,” Bobby Isles said.

Isles sold the Perrys collard greens. His prices went up 25 percent due to the drought.

Isles said it costs nearly twice as much to water his crops as it did two years ago. That extra cost trickles down to consumers.

“It's a sad day to see a good business go out of business,” customer Walter Yarborough said.

The Perrys said the first thing they plan to do after the Farmer's Market shuts down is take a long-awaited vacation.


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