Produce and plant market relocates to Chelsea

Gina Long and Billy Simmons relocated their produce and plant business, The Market, from Calera to the corner of Shelby County 36 and Shelby County 39 in Chelsea. (Reporter Photo/Emily Sparacino)

Gina Long and Billy Simmons relocated their produce and plant business, The Market, from Calera to the corner of Shelby County 36 and Shelby County 39 in Chelsea. (Reporter Photo/Emily Sparacino)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

CHELSEA – A new produce and plant market has sprouted in Chelsea.

Gina Long and Billy Simmons, co-owners of The Market, have moved their wares from the corner of U.S. 31 and Shelby County 22 in Calera to the corner of Shelby County 36 and Shelby County 39 in Chelsea.

The Market offers a wide variety of fresh-from-the-farm produce, seasonal plants, yard décor and wooden swings Simmons builds.

Depending on the season, produce includes tomatoes, corn, cantaloupes, plums, oranges, onions and apples from area farms, along with Chilton County peaches.

“If you keep good tomatoes, you’ll have people coming in here really just for tomatoes,” Simmons said of one of the business’s best sellers.

The Market also carries boiled peanuts, local honey and Amish products such as jellies and jams.

Long said she and Simmons are preparing to sell shaved ice later this summer.

On the plant side of the business, The Market offers petunias, million bells, hibiscus, geraniums, hydrangeas, ferns, mandevilla vines and succulents.

“At the beginning of the year, we have a whole lot more flowers,” Simmons said. “Up until Mother’s Day, flowers are the main sellers.”

Closer to fall, The Market will carry mums, marigolds, hay and pumpkins.

The swings Simmons makes can be plain or customized with different colors and designs.

He even makes swings for Auburn and Alabama enthusiasts.

Other yard items available at The Market include birdbaths, birdhouses and concrete benches.

Long, from Vestavia, said she and Simmons, who is from Chilton County, have worked together building houses for many years and decided to try operating The Market for the first time in Calera in 2013.

They decided to close the Calera location and move to Chelsea, to a quiet corner where stores are scarce, and people have a place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables right down the road from their homes.

“We’re not really competing back here,” Long said. “It seems to be very convenient for people.”

“We have met some really nice people that have been repeat customers,” Long said.

The Chelsea location has been open since May 2015.

The Market is open Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 12-7 p.m.

It is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

For more information, call (205) 516-9358.